28 Aug 2012

Vanuatu reports confirm rural children most deprived

8:29 pm on 28 August 2012

Two United Nations reports focusing on Vanuatu children's wellbeing confirm that those in rural areas experience the highest levels of deprivation.

The country's Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Moana Carcasses, launched the UNICEF reports, a 2011 atlas of social indicators for children and a 2012 study of child poverty and disparity.

The reports find that of all the provinces, children in Torba experience the greatest hardship, with access to food, water, shelter and health services among the areas assessed.

UNICEF's deputy Pacific representative Isabelle Austin says the data contradicts common perceptions of Pacific islands countries and especially Vanuatu as being free of poverty.

"This sort of like perception throughout the society that poverty is not really a big problem for us here in Vanuatu and revisiting those conceptions I think is a great achievement in itself."

Isabelle Austin says the reports will help the government and donors to ensure funding goes to those most in need.