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Ireland: childhood poverty, appeal from five associations. Grant house, education and rights

Five Irish associations, including the San Vincenzo de’ Paoli, made an appeal to the government for “inserting decisive measures against childhood poverty in the Budget 2018”. Poor children are over one hundred thousand (1 out of 9); 2,800 children are homeless; and “thousands of children live in inadequate or crowded houses”; above all, children with one parent are in difficulties. It was denounced by the Associations presenting a Report at the Pre-Budget Forum, summoned by the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty, and dedicated to children’s needs. The Report now examined by authorities includes “clear instructions for practical solutions”, meant “to support income and investments in quality state services”, the fundamental elements “to reduce childhood poverty”. The Associations ask for “free access to primary schools as a right for every child”, because “education develops the potential of children and allows them to escape from poverty”. And they ask for investments in council housing, as well as “rent aid” to avoid “more homeless families”. And more: investments in services such as the “school canteen programme”: last year, 102 thousand children took advantage of free meals during the school year. However, just “long-term and strategic investments” will “decrease childhood poverty”, “making a real difference”.

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