A so-called “hygiene poverty” is pestering thousands of people in the United Kingdom, where they are forced to choose between feeding over cleaning themselves, according to a local charity.
Kind Direct, a charity founded by the Prince of Wales, states that 56 percent of people ages 18 to 24 across the United Kingdom had to sacrifice hygiene or grooming products due to lack of proper finance. The report also shows that 82 percent of 948 charities have seen an increase in demand over the past year from people who cannot afford essential hygiene products.
“This is hitting families hard; we are seeing an increase in hygiene poverty. The fact that last year was our busiest year ever, distributing products to charities and the people they help, highlights the stark choices people are facing,” said Robin Boles, chief executive of In Kind Direct.
Described as a “hidden crisis,” the report paved way for campaigners to call for the government and push them about poverty alleviation. Samantha Stapley of the Trussell Trust food bank network added that voluntary organizations could not resolve the problem alone, and addressing the underlying causes of poverty is needed in fixing the issue.
Several organizations such as Freedom4Girls, who provides emergency protection for menstruating girls and women in Kenya, are being called up to offer support against hygiene poverty. Poverty remain to be one of the biggest issues that hinder a country’s growth; and the birth of sanitary deficiency is another threat that could hamper success if no necessary actions will be done.
“Our survey shows the significant impact this has on self-esteem. With 75 percent of people who are given products telling us receiving these goods boosted their confidence and ability to move forward in life, having access to life’s essentials really does make a world of difference,” Boles added.