World

Child poverty not exclusive to third world

PARIS One in five children in rich countries lives in relative poverty, according to a Unicef report published yesterday that put the US and New Zealand among the world's worst performers for youth well-being.

Nearly 13 per cent of children in those countries lack access to sufficient safe and nutritious food, the report said, with that number rising to 20 per cent in the US and UK.

"Higher incomes do not automatically lead to improved outcomes for all children and may indeed deepen inequalities," said Ms Sarah Cook, director of the Unicef Innocenti research office that published the study.

"Governments in all countries need to take action to ensure the gaps are reduced and progress is made," she said.

The report took into account factors like education, mental health, alcohol abuse, economic opportunities and the environment to rank 41 high-income countries for overall youth well-being.

Germany and the Nordic countries topped the list while Romania, Bulgaria and Chile came in at the bottom, with New Zealand and the US in 34th and 37th place respectively.

The US had relatively low scores in terms of poverty, hunger, health, education and inequality. - AFP

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