UNICEF welcomes the initiative of the Government to further increase child benefits for the most vulnerable children
TBILISI, Georgia, 18 April, 2022. UNICEF welcomes the initiative of the Government to address the needs of the most vulnerable children in Georgia and to further increase child benefits from GEL100 to GEL150.
“The Government decision to increase the child benefit is an important step towards decreasing child poverty in Georgia”, says UNICEF Representative in Georgia Ghassan Khalil. “UNICEF has been partnering with the Ministry of IDPs, Labour, Health and Social Affairs to improve the Targeted Social Assistance programme in order to reduce the number of children living in extreme poverty. UNICEF stands ready to support the Government of Georgia in further reducing child poverty in Georgia so that children enjoy better education, social inclusion and more sustainable development,” Khalil added.
As per the latest UNICEF Welfare Monitoring Study the revised Targeted Social Assistance programme better identifies families with children and together with child benefit it has a high impact on reducing child poverty.
With the positive assessment of this initiative we do hope that the Government will develop specific interventions for poor children who are not beneficiaries of TSA programme but are still poor.
The Real Time Monitoring Survey of the impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of families and children, carried out by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in partnership with UNICEF and with support from USAID, showed that average monthly income of households decreased due to the Pandemic. To cope with the reduced income, most often the households cut down on household expenses other than food, spent savings, cut down on food expenses and borrowed money from friends and acquaintances. The poorest 20 per cent of households could not provide children with basic necessities: e.g. around 45 per cent of poorest households had no means to provide children with shoes; 36 per cent – with clothing; 41 per cent - with protein rich food; 30 per cent - with age-suitable books, 53 per cent - with toys.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/