Almost half of children growing up in Derry are living in poverty, according to new statistics.
The shocking statistics have prompted calls for the Stormont executive to tackle the issue straight away.
The Department of Social Development’s found that 28% of children in Northern Ireland are growing up in poverty, and a staggering 44% of children in Derry are living in poverty.
SDLP Health spokesman Mark H Durkan said that the findings of the survey highlights the ineptitudeof the Executive in meeting their statutory obligations to children as laid out in the 2010 Child Poverty Act.
“When these figures are broken down into council areas, an overwhelming 44% of children in Derry are living in poverty whereas the figure for the UK as a whole is 20%.
“Whilst the figures in most regions of Britain have actually fallen one or two per cent over the same period, in Northern Ireland they have risen by 3%. Instead of making progress towards eliminating child poverty in Northern Ireland, the situation is just getting worse.
“Coming up to the festive period, with rising levels of unemployment throughout Northern Ireland, it is heart-breaking to imagine that parents are unable to provide for their children. With the stripping back of the child tax credit scheme, legislation must be introduced that will afford greater protection for those families living in poverty.
“If the 2010 Child Poverty Act’s target to reduce child poverty below 10% by 2020 is to be met, the Executive must take urgent legislative action to combat child poverty in our city.”