Currently, around one in five children and adolescents (18.5%) are at risk of poverty in Europe, with Spain being the third EU country with the highest child poverty rates at 27.4%.
That is why the European Commission has approved the European Child Guarantee, a measure aimed at combating child poverty and exclusion. Spain is one of the 7 countries selected by the European Commission to participate in this program.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, child poverty rates in Spain were very worrying, but since the crisis the situation has worsened, especially for children from the most vulnerable families.
This situation is due to the increase in unemployment rates in the country, which affects many families and is reflected in the youngest children of each family.
Among the profiles of families with children at risk of social exclusion in Spain, certain groups living in slums stand out. These people tend to have less academic training, an unstable employment situation and low-skilled jobs.
The disadvantage of social exclusion from an early age is that it affects a child’s ability to succeed in the future. That is, they suffer social and economic inequalities from an early age, they will not have equal opportunities with respect to other children in the future. This is because they are more likely to leave school early and have no chance of having a permanent job in the future.
Moreover, children living in slums tend to always have this standard of living, since they have been living in unfavorable conditions from an early age. This situation creates a vicious circle that is reproduced from one generation to the next.Child poverty in poor neighborhoods is of great importance.
In comunitaria, we collaborate to improve the economic situation of slums, and to reduce the level of child poverty. We believe that this is something that must be solved in order to break the inequalities of the most disadvantaged.
The European Child Guarantee is a program launched by the European Commission and UNICEF at the beginning of 2021. It fights poverty among the most disadvantaged children, so that they grow up with equal opportunities, guaranteeing access to a number of key services.
This program guarantees free access to children in need of education, food and health care. In addition to effective access to healthy nutrition and appropriate housing.
But they also have to take into consideration the specific needs of children in disadvantaged environments or in precarious family situations.
One of the most important effective services that member states have to guarantee is healthy nutrition for children. Ensuring that children have a plate of food every day to put in their mouths is a basic necessity.
Combating hunger in needy families is paramount to reducing the level of malnutrition in the youngest children of these families. Child malnutrition, whether due to poor nutrition or lack of food, is a serious problem for children’s health and growth.
One of Comunitaria‘s ways to reduce malnutrition among children is to donate fresh food (such as meat, fish, vegetables) in the most needy neighborhoods where families live in unfavorable conditions and do not have the means to feed their children.
We help people in vulnerable situations to have the opportunity to buy fresh products, so that their children can have a healthier, more nutritious and sufficient diet.
We must continue to fight against child poverty and reduce the social and economic inequalities in some families that affect children.