UN: Ukraine War Has Pushed 4M Children Into Poverty

According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Russia's invasion of Ukraine - and consequent rising inflation - has pushed approximately four million children into poverty across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

UN: Ukraine War Has Pushed 4M Children Into Poverty
Image credit: rferl

Facts

  • According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Russia's invasion of Ukraine - and consequent rising inflation - has pushed approximately four million children into poverty across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
  • UNICEF drew its conclusions through studying data from 22 countries - the organization have stated that the numbers reflect a 19% increase since 2021. UNICEF's regional director for Europe and Central Asia, Afshan Khan, stated that "children all over the region are being swept up in this war's terrible wake."
  • In the report, UNICEF highlighted that children make up 20% of the population but account for nearly 40% of the additional 10.4M people experiencing poverty this year. Of that number, 2.8M children in Russia have been directly plunged into poverty.
  • The report also noted that the increase in poverty could prompt the death of an additional 4.5k children before their first birthdays and might cause an additional 117k children to drop out of school this year.
  • Adeline Hazan, the president of UNICEF France, claimed that the agency is, "sounding the alarm on the consequences of this war and is calling on governments to provide extremely strong support for social protection and to implement cash assistance programs for the most vulnerable families with children."

Sources: Al Jazeera, Voa, Down to Earth, rferl, and Euro News.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Down to Earth.The effect of the war is not only being felt in Ukraine. Russia itself is facing damaging consequences including a significant increase in child poverty. Childhood poverty often lasts a lifetime, and establishes cycles that are hard to break. A robust response by UNICEF and the wider world is both warranted and immediately necessary.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Financial Express. The UN has consistently been critical of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. However, in reality, the agency lacks the power to do anything about such world conflicts. Ineffective in the face of a veto-wielding country such as Russia, change needs to occur within the structure of the UN itself if the agency wants their words to be taken seriously by powerful states.

Predictions