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One in Three Armenian Children Both Poor and Deprived, New UNICEF Study Says

30% of Armenia's population is consumption-poor, while the child poverty rate among under-8s is even higher at almost 34%, according to a report published by UNICEF Monday, September 26. 

“For children, poverty can mean being deprived in crucial aspects of their lives, such as nutrition, education, leisure or housing. These deficiencies go beyond monetary aspects, not only affecting the quality of their life at present but also their ability to grow to their full potential in the future,” Tanja Radocaj, UNICEF Representative in Armenia, was cited as saying.

In Armenia, according to the report, 64% of children are deprived in 2 or more dimensions. The headcount is as high as 82% in rural areas, while it is 53% in urban settings. Nationwide, 12% of children are not deprived in any dimension. However, this is true for only 3% of children in rural areas, while 18% of children in urban areas do not suffer any deprivation. Children who are deprived, are deprived on average in three dimensions at the same time.

“Most children are deprived in Utilities, Housing and Leisure. There is a sharp rural/urban divide in the utilities dimension: 87% of children in rural areas are deprived in utilities, a combination of poor access to water and heating. The second relevant divide is found in information: 57% of rural children are deprived of access to information, while this is true for only one third of children in urban settings. However, there are no differences in leisure deprivation rates by area of residence. At the same time, there are no significant gender differences either in deprivation distribution or particular dimensions.

“Almost one in three children in Armenia are both poor and deprived; 28% of children are deprived (in 2 or more dimensions) and live in monetary-poor households. At the same time, 36% of children are deprived, but do not live in poor households. 

“[…] Younger children are mostly deprived in Nutrition. About one third of children age 0-5 are deprived in nutrition, and 23% of children age 3-5 are deprived in early childhood education. The highest deprivation rates for this age groups are found in information (49%), utilities (48%) and housing (51%).

“Older children are mostly deprived in Leisure and Social Relations. Both children age 6-14 and age 15-17 have their highest deprivation in leisure, defined as not having a space to play outside or not having books or toys. Almost one half of children age 6-14 are also deprived in social relations. 37% of children age 6-14 are deprived in education, while 12 per cent of children age 15-17 are not in education or training,” the authors said. 

The UNICEF study in its entirety, here.