Almost 30,000 Georgian children do not have access to soap and are unable to wash at home, says UNICEF report
UNICEF reports that the pandemic has had a huge impact on children and adolescents. One especially vulnerable group in the face of coronavirus is children whose families lacked housing, as they were forced to live in unsanitary conditions.
Data from this organization shows that 29,800 children in Georgia do not have the opportunity to regularly use soap and live in houses where there is no water available. These children are in a high-risk group for contracting the virus.
UNICEF also draws attention to the fact that since March 2, Georgian schoolchildren switched to distance learning because of the coronavirus epidemic. However, the quality of the online learning process is greatly affected by having a weak internet connection.
Moreover, the organization says that 50,400 children aged three to 17 years old do not have a computer or internet at home. As a result, a dangerous situation has developed – some children may fall behind their more affluent peers in their education.
The UNICEF report also states that not all children in Georgia receive equally effective medical care. Children from socially vulnerable families may be in a particularly difficult situation during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the document.
“We need to strive to create a level playing field for all children in such important areas as education, healthcare, and hygiene standards,” said Hassan Khalili, UNICEF representative in Georgia.
Child poverty remains one of Georgia’s most pressing challenges. Research done by UNICEF has revealed that:
● 64 percent of children under the age of five play with toys purchased at the store. 94 percent use household items, including those found on the street.
● 12 percent of children do not have toys and instead use homemade toys.
● 44 percent of children own less than three children’s books.
● Six percent of children under the age of five have are underweight.
● Six percent of children have stunted growth due to malnutrition and two percent are severely underweight.
● Children aged six to 23 months only receive five out of the recommended eight nutritional groups.
● Children in cities are more likely to get a varied diet. The situation is notably worse in the regions.
● The region where the lowest variety in children’s diets was reported was the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.