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UNICEF Says Child Poverty Common In Former Soviet Union

13 October 2004 -- The UN, in a new report, says one out of every three children in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union lives in poverty.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in a report published today, said rising rates of alcohol and drug abuse had led to higher mortality and HIV/AIDS infection rates among young people.

UNICEF director Carol Bellamy is quoted as saying the recent economic improvement in some former communist countries so far had "excluded the children."

The report also said rising rates of divorce meant that more children are being left in the care of state institutions. It said some 700,000 children in Russia are now in state care.