June 16th, 2017 09:56 EST
UN: One in Five Children in Rich Countries Lives in Poverty
One in five children in high-income countries lives in relative income poverty, and an average of one in eight faces food insecurity, according to a new report released today by the United Nations Childrens Fund.
The latest `Report Card` issued by the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre underscores that rich nations also face challenges meeting global commitments to children.
"Report Card 14 is a wake-up-call that even in high-income countries progress does not benefit all children," said Sarah Cook, Director of UNICEF Innocenti.
Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countriesis the first report to assess the status of children in 41 high-income countries in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified as most important for child well-being. It ranks countries based on their performance and details the challenges and opportunities that advanced economies face in achieving global commitments to children.
"Higher incomes do not automatically lead to improved outcomes for all children, and may indeed deepen inequalities. Governments in all countries need to take action to ensure the gaps are reduced and progress is made to reach the SDGs for children," she emphasized.
While the report says that on average one in five children in high-income countries lives in relative income poverty, there is wide variation, from one in 10 in Denmark, Iceland and Norway to one in three in Israel and Romania.
On hunger, an average of one in eight children in high-income countries faces food insecurity, rising to one in five in the United Kingdom and the United States, and to one in three in Mexico and Turkey.
Turning to healthy lives, neonatal mortality has dramatically fallen in most countries; and rates of adolescent suicide, teenage births and drunkenness are declining. However, one in four adolescents reports two or more mental health issues more than once a week.
Regarding quality education, even in the best-performing countries, including Japan and Finland, around one-fifth of 15-year-olds do not reach minimum proficiency levels in reading, mathematics and science.
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