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The government plans to conduct its first nationwide survey on how family income affects children’s health. Health ministry officials said the survey was prompted by concerns in the government about child poverty. However, those concerns seem extremely late in arriving. The child poverty situation has worsened tremendously in recent years, with little notice or response from the government.

The number of children living in poverty has continued to increase in recent years, reaching its worst level ever. The health ministry’s own statistics show that 16 percent of children aged 17 or younger now live in households that earn less than half the average national income.

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