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154

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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154 RUSSIA AND PEACE
high, being up to 80 per cent. for new-born
mfants .
The number of children who have neither home
nor anyone to look after them is probably about
100,000. They live a vagrant life, gathering
chiefly in the neighbourhood of railways and
about the stations, where they may be seen
in flocks, ragged, frequently half naked, begging
for a scrap of bread, and certain to become
criminals if they do not soon die of starvation
and hardship. In 1922, 12,204 criminals under
fourteen years of age were registered,
The unsatisfactory conditions in the workmen’s
dwellings and the widespread unemployment affect
the children in serious fashion, Hundreds of
thousands of children are suffering in consequence ;
but the state of things is particularly bad in the
three southern famine districts -, Odessa, Ekater
inoslav, and Donetz. Here there are altogether
3,900,000 children, of whom 1,800,000 are
estimated to be more or less in a starving condi
tion, while 600,000 are expected to die unless
they can receive assistance.
To show what the position is like it may be
mentioned that of the inmates of the children’s
hornes in the Odessa province 35 per cent. are
suffering from anæmia, 25 per cent. from debility,
and 40 per cent. from tuberculosis.
The relief given to the poor children of Ukrame
and Russia is very inadequate. And the means
both of the Soviet organisations and of the foreign

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