1.4 million Polish children living in poverty
PR dla Zagranicy
Official data reveals that 1.4 million Polish children are living in poverty, with kids from large families and small towns being the hardest hit.
'Living conditions for families in Poland,' a study by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), found that the problem is particularly serious with families of three or more children.
Some 10 percent of families of three children are living below the minimum subsistence level, and 26.6 percent of families of four children and more are below the poverty line.
“Poverty is especially acute in small towns,” Professor Katarzyna Duczkowska-Malysz told the Rzeczpospolita daily.
“Unlike in the countryside, where there's the opportunity to take advantage of what nature offers, such as one's own farm products, in small towns one has to buy everything.”
According to GUS, over half a million Polish children are unable to eat a meal containing meat, fish or poultry (or a nutritious vegetarian equivalent) even once every two days, because their parents cannot afford it.
Similarly, about 450,000 Polish children do not have all the required school textbooks, owing to a lack of money.
Meanwhile, about 600,000 Polish children do not go the dentist, due to financial constraints (the Fundacja Wewiorki Julii estimates that 90 percent of Poles aged between 5 and 15 have tooth decay.)
About one in three Polish families struggles to provide a week's break away from home (either with relatives or on a holiday) once a year.
At present, about 35 percent of Polish children up to 17 years of age receive state aid. (nh)