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More than half of Mexican children live in poverty: Unicef

EFE| El Universal
19:16Friday 10 April 2015

The indigenous children must be the priority of the authorities, according to Unicef. (Photo: Archive/ EL UNIVERSAL )

The indigenous children must be a priority for the authorities, according to the U.N. agency.

More than half of the 40 million children and teenagers who live in Mexico are under poverty and some 4.7 million of them are under extreme poverty conditions, according to Unicef, that urged the authorities to make indigenous children a priority.

On its annual report for 2014, the Mexican offices of the United Nations Children's Fund indicated that, in cooperation with the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policies (Coneval), it developed a report about poverty and social rights of children.

The report indicates that 21.2 million boys, girls and teenagers (53,8 %) were living in poverty in 2012, while 4.7 million of them (11,9 %) were living in extreme poverty.

The report adds that indigenous children are still the most vulnerable population and it is necessary to protect them in particular, especially boys and girls under a year old, who have no access to health services.

In the south-southeast region of the country, more than 60% of the children and teenager live in poverty.

But the document also points out that, thanks to iron, folic acid and vitamin A, the nutritional situation of children in Mexico has improved.

Nevertheless, 1.5 million children under five face chronic malnutrition. In the rural areas, one out of ever three children faces that situation and for the indigenous minors, the malnutrition rate is more than twice that of non-indigenous.

Regarding health, the mortality rate in boys and girls under five is still too high in states like Guerrero, Chiapas, Puebla and Oaxaca, even if the national rate has fallen during the last decade.

More than a four part (27.5%) of boys and girls under one year of age have no access to health services.

On the other hand, the enrollment rates for primary school are almost 100%. But, there are still 6.1 million children, from three to 17-years-old that are not going to school.

Among indigenous teenagers, the secondary school attendance rates are of 69.3%, in comparison to the 83.9% of non-indigenous minors.