Policy Watch

An eye on policy changes in Ireland, the UK and beyond

Food Insecurity in NI and across the UK | Other Rights of the Child

General  |  Wed Sep 01 2021

Food Insecurity in NI and across the UK

Sheffield University researchers published an interactive map of food insecurity in the UK by local district, based on data from the Food Foundation. It showed Northern Ireland with high rates of food poverty alongside Yorkshire and the Humber. Five of the 10 UK areas where people worry the most about food are located here: they are Derry & Strabane, Causeway Coast & Glens, Fermanagh & Omagh, Mid Ulster, Armagh/Banbridge/Craigavon.

After beginning to measure food insecurity in NI through the Family Resources Survey, the Department for Communities reported that one in ten children here live in food insecure households. amongst households living in poverty that figure rose to one in five. The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), Feeding Britain, researchers at the University of York and the Living Wage Foundation drew attention to the harm caused by UK welfare reform to the living standards of disabled people in particular. At end August the British Medical Journal highlighted an impending ‘perfect storm’ in acute emergency food need amongst families from start October, given the planned cut to overnight cut to Universal Credit, the end of the furlough scheme, and a dramatic increase in energy prices.

England’s National School Breakfast Programme, bringing breakfasts to pupils of schools in disadvantaged areas, has been extended for two years with £24m in funding.

Other Rights of the Child

Northern Ireland’s Children’s Commissioner Koulla Yiasouma raised concerns about young people’s vulnerability to exploitation by paramilitaries, and the role of statutory agencies in safeguarding them.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is working on a new General Comment (26) on “Children’s rights and the environment with a special focus on climate change”.

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