Combating child poverty

Child poverty plagues our na­tion and the world at large. A recent global study has shed light on a deeply troubling reality: worldwide, a staggering 333 mil­lion children still endure the cru­el grip of poverty. These innocent souls are deprived of the most ba­sic necessities, including food and shelter, as inflation soars to un­precedented heights.

The joint analysis conducted by UNICEF and the World Bank paints a grim picture, estimating that one in six children globally, approxi­mately 333 million in number, live in conditions of extreme poverty. This revelation serves as a grim reminder that the Sustainable De­velopment Goal of eradicating ex­treme child poverty by 2030 is in grave jeopardy, with current rates of reduction falling far short.

The “Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty” report, for the first time, delves into the heart-wrenching realm of extreme child poverty. While there was a glim­mer of hope as the number of chil­dren living on less than $2.15 a day decreased slightly between 2013 and 2022, the economic up­heaval brought about by the COV­ID-19 pandemic has robbed us of three crucial years of progress.

As we grapple with the stagger­ing figure of 333 million children living in extreme poverty in 2022, there is an urgent and moral obliga­tion to address the structural root causes that perpetuate this heart­breaking crisis. These findings are unveiled just ahead of the high-lev­el week of the United Nations Gen­eral Assembly, where global lead­ers will convene to deliberate on the midway progress of the Sus­tainable Development Goals.

It is a sobering fact that children shoulder more than 50 percent of the burden of extreme pover­ty worldwide, despite comprising only a third of the global popula­tion. What is even more distress­ing is that they are more than twice as likely as adults—15.8 percent versus 6.6 percent—to dwell in households grappling with extreme poverty. This cruel reality deprives them of the most basic necessities for survival and growth, including access to food, sanitation, shelter, healthcare, and education.

We stand at a crossroads where our collective conscience must drive us to take resolute action. It is a call not just for our lead­ers but for every compassionate individual to unite in the fight against child poverty. Togeth­er, we must strive to break the shackles that bind these innocent lives, granting them the chance to thrive and fulfil their potential.



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