Asylum children go hungry, says report.

MANY CHILDREN in the State’s asylum process are living in extreme poverty in overcrowded accommodation with inadequate food, according to a report published yesterday.

The Irish Refugee Council report paints a grim picture of the State’s system for accommodating asylum-seekers, known as direct provision.  It documents frequent instances of malnutrition among children and expectant mothers, as well as illnesses related to diet among babies and young children….

 Of the 5,098 people residing in reception centres for asylum-seekers, over one third, or 1,789, are children.

Families are given an allowance of €19.10 per week for an adult and €9.60 per child.

The system, which was set up in 2000 by the Department of Justice to deal with the increasing number of asylum claimants, was intended to house applicants and their families for six months.

However, the report says asylum-seekers in Ireland typically spent four years in the system, and in some cases over seven years, awaiting the processing of asylum claims….