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Over 50 % of children in Kyrgyzstan may find themselves below poverty line

More than half of all children in Kyrgyzstan may find themselves in poverty due to the economic shock caused by COVID-19. UNICEF reports.

According to a recent study by UNICEF and the World Bank, from 160,000 to 570,000 children under the age of 16 may find themselves below the poverty line in Kyrgyzstan due to the economic shock, rising consumer prices and lower labor incomes and remittances associated with COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the study, the incidence of poverty will increase significantly, even according to the most optimistic forecasts. The number of children living in poverty in Kyrgyzstan now, according to UNICEF experts, is 29 percent, but it is expected that the figure will grow and reach 36 — 55 percent.

The study notes that expanding coverage of existing social assistance programs could help mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 economic crisis.