More Northern Ireland children live in poverty - DSD report

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There has been a significant increase in the number of children living in poverty in Northern Ireland, according to a new report.

The research published by the Department of Social Development shows a 3% increase in cases - but a fall in most other UK regions.

The two councils with the highest numbers of children living in poverty are Londonderry and Limavady.

Fergus Cooper, from Save the Children, said the figures were of concern.

"The 2009-10 Households Below Average Income survey shows that in Northern Ireland 28% of children are growing up in poverty. The figure for the whole of the UK is 20%," he said.

"More worryingly, figures in most regions of Britain actually fell one or two per cent over the same period whereas they rose 3% here."

The figures are also broken down by council areas and the two councils with the highest numbers of children living in poverty are Derry at 44% and Limavady 34%.

Of the 26 councils in Northern Ireland seven have 30% or more children in living in poverty.

Save the Children called on the executive and Stormont ministers to ensure they can meet their obligations to children under the 2010 Child Poverty Act.

Mr Cooper said: "The 2020 target is to reduce child poverty below 10%. The executive must take action now to ensure a worsening child poverty situation here does not become a crisis."

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