The organization calls for concrete interventions by the government to allocate a larger share of the European Social Fund Plus to combat child poverty and increase investment in Italy, and direct them, including Pnrr, to the areas where the children hardest hit by absolute poverty, living.
ROM – I new Istat data on absolute poverty affecting minors in Italy, the negative forecasts confirm e.g. they accounted for 14.2% of the total number. “This is 1 million 382 thousand children who can not afford what they need to live in dignified conditions, a record number, especially when it comes to the very unequal incidence and to the detriment of minors in the different age groups – emphasizes Save the Children –. While the data actually show a 0.7% increase in absolute poverty for minors, in the other age groups for adults there is a, albeit minimal reduction of 0.1%, with a percentage falling from 11.1% between 18-34 years old, to 9.1% between 35 and 64 years and 5.3% of over 65 “.
“The prevalence of child poverty has been confirmed in almost double proportions compared to the adult population as a whole – said Raffaela Milano, director of Save the Children’s Italy-Europe programs –. These data confirm that the policies implemented so far to combat child poverty have failed. It is important to change direction in order to protect children, girls and young people in our country from ever-increasing impoverishment and to remedy an obvious “generational injustice” that is burdening their shoulders today..
The profile of the most affected families with children from the absolute poverty that the new data draws, highlights further inequalities which negatively affects those with the youngest children (for children between 4 and 6 years of age, poverty goes from 12.8% in 2020 to 15.4% in 2021), those where the family reference person is job-seeking (27.2%), those where one (30.7%) or both parents (36.2%, with an increase of 7.6 points from 2020) are foreigners and those living in a dwelling for rent (28.2%). “If the incidence of child poverty is higher in metropolitan areas, which we know are characterized by particularly fragile territoriesalso the geographical distribution generally emphasizes features of inequalities“because absolute poverty in the South reaches 16.1% of minors, well above the national average, and in the Center it still shows a negative trend, going from 9.5% in 2020 to 11.4% in 2021”, continues the organization.
“It is more urgent than ever to take concrete and immediate action to combat the growing poverty of children, girls and young people, a condition which, as we know from direct experience in the many areas in which we are present with our projects, hitting all the dimensions of growth, from health to education, which endangers not only the present but also the growth and future prospects of many children – concludes Raffaela Milano – we strongly reiterate the government’s request to double the resources of the European Social Fund Plus , to be allocated specifically to the Child Guarantee, to ensure essential services for children for their growth and to revise the methods of allocating citizenship income to support especially families with children.To prevent material poverty from turning into educational poverty for generations, we also about major investments in education and related local services, and that the funds allocated, starting from PNRR’s, prioritize areas where child poverty is more acute, to activate “areas of high education density” that protect boys, girls and young people from the dramatic effects of poverty on their growth path “.