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UNICEF study finds one billion children in poverty

UNICEF study finds one billion children in poverty

A landmark study by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) indicates that more than one billion children around the world are suffering from the debilitating effects of poverty.

It shows that one in three children lives in a dwelling with either a mud floor or more than five people per room, and that one in five does not have safe water sources.

The study - which analyses survey data taken in the late 1990s on almost 1.2 million children in 46 countries - is the largest of its kind and uses innovative methodology to assess the effects of poverty.

"Child Poverty in the Developing World," launched today in London, measures poverty not just in terms of income, but also in access to such basic human rights as shelter, food, water, sanitation, health, education and information.

The report also shows that more than 90 million children in South Asia have to go hungry every day and, across the globe, 134 million children between the ages of seven and 18 have never been to school.

Girls suffer the most - they are much more likely than boys to miss schooling, especially in North Africa and the Middle East.

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said eliminating the worst aspects of poverty "is a practical and affordable possibility - and it starts with investing in children."