25 November 2015, Ulaanbaatar – UNICEF urged the Government to put children at the heart of urban planning and to improve services for allat the launch of “Urban Profile of Children”. For that, more focused, accurate data is needed to help identify disparities among children in urban areas and how to bridge them. The shortage of such data results in neglect of children’s issues.
Children in peri-urban and urban areas are often the silent face of poverty and deprivations. Urban centers can offer children the advantages of schools, clinics and playgrounds. Yet the same cities are also the setting for some of the greatest disparities in children’s health, education and opportunities. The disparities and deprivations endured by children in poor urban communities are often obscured by broad statistical averages that lump together all city dwellers, rich and poor alike.
The further analyses of the Social Indicators Sample Survey (MICS5) by Oxford Policy Management on Urban Profile of Children in Mongolia, supported by UNICEF Mongolia illustrate persisting intra-urban disparities in children’s circumstances.
The preliminary findings show that the apartment residents in Ulaanbaatar city have almost universal access to improved drinking water (99.6%), while this indicator for UB Ger district residents is only just over 50% (50.7%). The urban disparity in access to improved sanitation is even more alarming if we use the country specific definition. The indicator is 99.2% for apartment dwellers, while this is only 4.7% for Ger residents. Other important child well-being indicators also illustrate considerable disparities between apartment and Ger districts. For instance, the stunting is almost twice high among children living in Ger districts (9.1%) compared to children living in apartment districts (4.9%). The child labor indictors are 3 times higher for Ger district children (9.6%), compared to children living in the apartments.
“As Mongolia is urbanizing rapidly, the unplanned and underdeveloped peri-urban areas with no proper facilities for basic social services are expanding. This leads to significant disparities in urban settings” said UNICEF Mongolia Representative Roberto Benes.
“With our mandate to close the existing gaps in children’s situation and with our equity agenda, UNICEF has established a MoU with the City Governor’s Office in May 2015 to improve the well-being of children living in the capital and to reduce urban disparities in children’s access and utilization of basic social services. Together with the city, we will be joining our efforts to ensure that every child living in the city, regardless his or her place of residence, have access to basic social services and opportunity to develop to their full potential” added Mr. Benes.SOURCE: InfoMongolia.com