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UNICEF Report Says More Than 30M Children In East Asia, Pacific Lack Essential Services

“More than 30 million children in seven countries in East Asia and the Pacific are deprived of at least one essential service such as basic health care, safe drinking water or access to education, according to a United Nations study (.pdf),” AlertNet reports. According to UNICEF’s “Child Poverty in East Asia and the Pacific: Deprivations and Disparities” report, “more than 13 million of the 93 million children in Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam suffer from two or more such deprivations.”

“The lack of services for children is fuelled by inequities between rural and urban areas, between ethnic minorities and general populations, by geographic disparities, family size and the education level of heads of households,” AlertNet writes, adding, “Instead of the traditional practice of using the parents’ income to determine how deprived the children are, the report takes a broader look at their access to shelter, food, water, sanitation, education, health and information.” The news service cites data for various countries included in the study and writes, “The report is urging policy makers to look beyond family income indicators and come up with policies that are sensitive to the needs of the children to address rampant inequity” (Win, 11/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.