Rome

Poverty data in Italy 'alarming', says UNICEF

Children being hit by uncertain economic conditions

Poverty data in Italy 'alarming', says UNICEF

Rome, July 17 - Data on poverty in Italy released by the country's statistics agency Istat on Wednesday are "extremely alarming," UNICEF Italy President Giacomo Guerrera said. "The rate of poverty among children and adolescents is among the most important indicators of health and well-being of a society," Guerra said. In uncertain economic conditions, investing in the development and protection of children and adolescents "is not only ethically right, but also economically advantageous," the UNICEF Italy head said. Istat reported that in 2012, almost half of Italy's impoverished lived in the south of the country known as the Mezzogiorno, and that some 1.58 million of those living under the poverty line were children, up 7% from 2011. UNICEF said that child poverty is not inevitable, but susceptible to government policies. "Some countries are doing much better than others to protect the most vulnerable. Since the situation in Italy is not improving, action is needed," Guerrera said. "It's necessary that the government assesses the impact and effects that policies already in place or being considered have on children, adolescents and their families," Guerrera said. s

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