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7 out of 10 Tanzanian children living in poverty: survey

Xinhua, August 12, 2016 Adjust font size:

A survey released in Tanzania on Thursday indicated that seven out of 10 children in the east African nation are living in poverty.

The survey by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) examined child poverty in the country not only in monetary basis, but dug deeper to other parameters such as nutrition, sanitation, education, water, health, housing, protection and access to information.

The findings of the survey titled Child Poverty in Tanzania 2016, showed that 26 percent of the children in the country came from poor households, and they were as well deprived of other basic needs like health, education and sanitation.

The survey indicated that there were 48 percent of children in the country who were living in families which were not experiencing monetary poverty, yet these children were experiencing "multidimensional poverty".

"There's the third group of children of only 3 percent who are experiencing monetary poverty alone," said the survey.

"In parts of Kilimanjaro region, there are parents especially women who cultivate cash crops in abundance, they have enough money to cater for their families but they don't pay attention to their children," said Albina Chuwa, the NBS Director General.

"When they go to their farms in the morning they leave their children without nutritious meals, and from the farms they go directly to local bars, so they have no time for their children."

The survey, using National Panel Survey (NPS) data, was carried out across the country in three waves from 2008 to 2013, and involved 5,010 households, including 3,947 households with children.

In total, data were collected from 11,843 children.

Cecilia Baldeh, Chief Education Officer for UNICEF, said Tanzania should take a lesson from the survey since over half of the population was children.

She said Tanzania has a vision of reaching a middle income level by 2025. However, if the country did not invest in children, the vision will not be realized since there will still be a scarcity of skilled and healthy workforce to drive the economy.