Austerity measures impact negatively: numbers rise
SPAIN Some 2,267,000 children in Spain live below the established poverty mark, according to a UNICEF report based on updated Eurostat data for 2011. That's 80,000 more than a year ago and represents 27.2% of the infant population of the country. Eurostat sets the poverty mark at 60% of the median individual income. The report also says that there are now 760,000 Spanish homes in which not a single member is in employment, 46,000 more than in the year before. And, 14.4% of children liveCOMING SOON: SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION>>>at the lower end of the poverty bracket, 13.7% more than in 2010. This, according to UNICEF, is directly attributed to the crisis, so 'more attention needs to be paid to the consequences of the crisis on the more vulnerable,' that the measures to be taken are the result of careful analysis. The Executive Director of UNICEF in Spain, Paloma Escudero, says that the austerity measures taken by the last few governments, added to those included in the latest drafts for the 2013 Budget, impact directly, and negatively, on children: health care, education and social services.
UNICEF proposes that investment in these crucial sectors be protected, not only in Spain but in other developing countries, through international cooperation. The United Nations agency also proposes that the imapct of these measures be analysed carefully before they are put into effect. A National Plan Against Child Poverty is part of its, proposals, too, as is the need for the Spanish Cortes (parliament) follows up on the commitment it undertook in the white paper approved last June which states that priority attention must be given to matters that affect the child population of the country.