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Extreme Child Poverty: A Blight to the Legacy of 333 Million Children

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

UNICEF, in conjunction with the World Bank, revealed disturbing findings on Wednesday about the persistent issue of child poverty. The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impaired progress towards eradicating child poverty, with a shocking 333 million children continuing to exist in extreme poverty.

This revelation came as part of a comprehensive report that showcased the impact of various global crises on the world's youngest population. Undeniably, the abolishment of extreme poverty fell short, impacting 30 million fewer children than previously hoped. This failure resonates with roughly one in six children living on less than $2.15 per day.

The compounding effects of COVID-19, along with calamities such as conflict, climate change, and economic shocks, have derailed progress, leaving millions of children to languish in extreme poverty. This thwarted progress threatens the UN's ambitious target to completely eradicate extreme child poverty by 2030.

Sub-Saharan Africa proves a critical hotspot for this issue, with an alarming 40 percent of its child populace living in extreme poverty. This number surpasses other regions, worsened by rapid population growth, Covid-19 impacts, and climate-induced shocks that have aggravated extreme child poverty levels. While other regions have seen steady declines, sub-Saharan Africa remains a glaring exception.

The UNICEF and World Bank report plea for urgent prioritization of conquering child poverty, and for necessary measures such as the expansion of universal child benefits programs to be enacted. The report underscored that, "Ending child poverty is a policy choice."

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