Almost one in three children are both poor and socially deprived in Armenia, the United Nations’ children agency said in a report Monday, September 26.
For children, besides its monetary character, poverty can also mean being deprived in crucial aspects of their lives, such as nutrition, education, leisure or housing, the UNICEF said.
In Armenia, 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 per cent 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.
Utilities is defined here as a combination of poor water supply and heating, while housing is defined by crowded living space and reported housing problems. Leisure is measured as a combination of recreation items and space to play.
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.
28% of children are deprived (in 2 or more dimensions) and live in monetary-poor households. These children are the most vulnerable, and should be prioritized by social policies.
At the same time, 36% of children are deprived, but do not live in poor households. These children need direct intervention to tackle deprivation, and are at risk of being missed by policies that only address monetary poverty.
Younger children are mostly deprived in Nutrition. About one third of children aged 0-5 are deprived in nutrition, and 23% of children aged 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 aged 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 aged 6-14 are deprived in education (defined as education resources), while 12% of children aged 15-17 are not in education or training.