Almost a fifth of children in Caerphilly County Borough live in severe child poverty, according to a report by Save the Children.
The charity has said 18% of children in the area are living in severe poverty. Within the UK, Wales has the highest proportion of children living in severe poverty nationwide (14%), followed by England (13%) then Scotland and Northern Ireland (9% each).
Save the Children has said it fears that even more children will be forced into severe poverty in the face of rising unemployment and welfare cuts.
Veronica German, the Lib Dem Assembly Member for South Wales East, said: “Whenever lifestyle and health figures are released is it is nearly always the same areas that are suffering the most.
“A number of targets have been set to eradicate child poverty, but these figures illustrate the lack of action and firm commitment from the Labour-Plaid Welsh Assembly Government in tackling this issue. It is all very well setting targets, but these targets mean absolutely nothing to the people that have to live with such disadvantages in life.
“Inequality in Wales continues to be huge problem. There are huge discrepancies in life expectancy across Wales, where there is a clear correlation between those areas that are poorer and those with lower life expectancy. After over ten years in power, the Labour party has completely failed to tackle the issue of inequality.
“Child poverty limits future life chances for employment and training. The Labour-Plaid Government needs to get a grip on this continuing problem as whole areas of Wales are being left behind. ”
Sally Copley, Save the Children’s head of UK policy, said: “If the UK Government is to fulfil its commitments on child poverty, it must find a way of counting children in greatest need.
“At the moment, these children are hidden from official view, and their plight unrecognised. If these children are to have a future, we must acknowledge their desperate need and urgently target government help towards them.”
The charity has defined severe poverty as a lone-parent family with one child aged under 14 living on an income of less than £7,000 and a couple with two children under 14 on less than £12,500.
The ten local authority areas with the highest estimates of child poverty in Wales
1. Blaenau Gwent 20%
2. Newport 18%
3. Torfaen 18%
4. Swansea 18%
5. Caerphilly 18%
6. Rhondda, Cynon Taff 17%
7. Cardiff 16%
8. Carmarthenshire 16%
9. Merthyr Tydfil 16%
10. Neath Port Talbot 16%