Unicef report finds that one in three British children are in ‘multi-dimensional poverty’ and says gaps between rich and poor are widening around the world.
The UK has some of the highest levels of hunger and deprivation among the world’s richest nations, according to a wide-ranging United Nations assessment of child health and wellbeing. The Unicef report ranks 41 high-income countries against 25 indicators tracking progress against internationally agreed goals to end child poverty and hunger, promote health, ensure quality education, and reduce inequality.
It concludes that the majority of rich countries are going backwards on inequality indicators as gaps between rich and poor widen.
Nearly one in five UK children under the age of 15 suffers from food insecurity – meaning their family lacks secure access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food.
Sarah Cook, the director of Unicef Innocenti, which carried out the assessment, said the report was a “wake-up call” to governments that even in high-income countries progress does not benefit all children. “Higher incomes do not automatically lead to improved outcomes for all children, and may indeed deepen inequalities.
The UK ranks 16th out of 41 on tackling poverty, 34th on food insecurity, 15th on health and wellbeing, 31st on economic growth, and sixth on reducing inequalities.