Gov’t recognizes child poverty still a problem in Spain

Gov't figures show 2.5 million children remain at risk of poverty, social exclusion. Photo: Save the Children / Europa Press
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• Rajoy gov’t tells Congress that 29.7pct of Spain’s children at risk of poverty
• NGO say nearly 600,000 children of working poor at home alone this summer

Nearly 2.5 million children under the age of 18, accounting for 29.7 percent of the entire child population nationwide, remain at risk of poverty, according to a formal response from the conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of President Mariano Rajoy to a parliamentary question posed by the Socialist party (PSOE) legislative group in Spain’s Congress of Deputies.

While representing a slight year-on-year decrease that breaks with a six-year upward trend since 2011 in child poverty in Spain, the number is still of concern to political parties and non-government organizations campaigning in defense of children’s rights and against poverty that severely impacts Spain’s youth population.

At the same time, one NGO working to direct more attention to the problem of child poverty in Spain says that this summer some 580,000 children between the ages of six and 13 will be left at home alone this summer. The reason, says NGO Educo, is that the children’s parents are among the 2.5 million working poor in Spain who cannot afford to send their children to summer school or summer camp programs or pay for childcare services while they are away at work.

And, despite the work of many community food-banks across Spain, which serve more than 1.5 million people including some 350,000 children, it is estimated that one in three Spanish children remain unable to regularly access the consumption of milk and protein sources essential to their growth and physical and mental health.

► Read More in Spanish at Europa Press, EFE and La Razón …

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