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Armenia multidimensional child poverty report launched

Armenia N MODA 2

UNICEF and the National Statistical Service of Armenia have released the country’s first comprehensive national study on multidimensional child poverty: Child Poverty in Armenia: National Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis. The report offers a comprehensive picture of child poverty in a national context, by looking at multidimensional and monetary poverty and providing estimates on the degree to which the two measures overlap.

The research is the first of its kind in the Caucasus region and is based on UNICEF Innocenti’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology. 

According to the study, 64 per cent of children in Armenia are deprived in two or more dimensions. Nationwide, only 12 per cent of children are not deprived in any dimension. This is true, however, for only three per cent of children in rural areas and18 per cent of children in urban areas. Most children are deprived in the dimensions of utilities, housing and leisure; while the majority of younger children (0-5) are mostly deprived in nutrition.

“Child poverty is about more than just money – it’s multidimensional. For children, poverty means being deprived in crucial aspects of their lives, such as nutrition, education, leisure or housing. These deprivations go beyond monetary aspects, not only affecting the quality of their life at present, but also their ability to grow to their full potential in the future,” said UNICEF Representative in Armenia, Tanja Radocaj.

There are severe rural/urban divides found in two dimensions. In the utilities dimension: 87 per cent of children in rural areas are deprived in utilities, which is a combination of poor access to water and heating. In the information dimension: 57 per cent of rural children are deprived of access to information, while this is true for only one third of children in urban settings. No significant gender differences were observed in the distribution of deprivation across the dimensions.

“This is the first report of its kind in Armenia that depicts the situation of multidimensional poverty, including its overlap with monetary poverty, among children at a national level. With this analysis we can now address a key target of the Sustainable Development Goal 1 and monitor our progress toward meeting this goal,” said the President of the National Statistical Service, Stepan Mnatsakanyan.

When deprivation is juxtaposed with poverty, almost one in three children are both poor and deprived. Twenty eight per cent of children are deprived in two or more dimensions, while also living in monetary-poor households. These children represent the most vulnerable section of society and should be prioritized by social policies. Thirty six per cent of children are deprived, but do not live in a poor household. These children need direct intervention to tackle their deprivations and are at a greater risk of being missed by policies that only address monetary poverty.

The analysis carries important implications for policy making and makes the case to improve social protection measures, in order to ensure children are protected from risks, while also expanding access to the social services they greatly need. Whether examining poverty from monetary or non-monetary sides, data demonstrates that children are more likely to live in poverty than other groups. Ending child poverty is a pressing challenge in many countries around the world. 

(27 September 2016)