Almost 20 million affected: More child poverty in Europe

Status: 03/07/2023 10:29 am

One in four children in Europe is poor, according to a Save the Children report. Compared to the previous year, the number of those affected increased – in Germany there are more than two million children.

In Europe, almost 20 million children are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. This is shown by a report by the international aid organization Save the Children. According to the organization, the number of children at risk of poverty rose by 200,000 to 19.6 million in 2021. Every fourth child in Europe is affected.

In Germany, more than two million children live in poverty. They and their families had less than 60 percent of the average income to live on. Eric Großhaus from Save the Children Germany says:

In view of the fact that every fifth child in Germany lives in poverty, there must be no more excuses: The federal government must finally fulfill its promises to combat child poverty in an ambitious manner.

The risk of poverty is highest in Romania

The report examines child poverty in ten EU countries and four other European countries. The risk of poverty was highest in Romania in 2021: 41.5 percent of children there were at risk of poverty, followed by Spain with 33.4 percent. Germany was slightly below the European average at 23.5 percent, while the risk of poverty for children was lowest in Denmark (14 percent) and Finland (13.2 percent).

For many children and their families, the situation is aggravated by the rapidly rising food prices and the climate crisis, the report says. Families in the lower and middle income sectors who have already suffered from the corona pandemic are particularly affected.

According to the study, children with a migration background, children with physical or mental disabilities, members of ethnic minorities or children with a single parent are particularly at risk of poverty.

Organization demands free education from the EU

Save the Children is pushing for the introduction of the 2021 European Child Guarantee. EU member states should be obliged to give children at risk of poverty access to free care and education. School activities, at least one healthy school meal per day, health care and adequate housing should also be part of the child guarantee. The member states are tasked with submitting national action plans by March 15, 2023.

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