Extreme Poverty crisis facing children

By Amanda Wakesho.

According to a joint analysis study done by UNICEF and World Bank on an update concerning global estimate of children in monetary poverty, an estimated 1 in 6 children or 356 million globally were living in extreme poverty before the pandemic.

The report also highlighted that the number of children living in extreme poverty decreased moderately by 29 million between 2013 and 2017, but progress made in recent years is concerningly slow-spaced, unequally distributed, and at risk due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of children living in multidimensional poverty without access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water may soar to approximately 1.2 billion, while an additional 142 million children are expected to fall into monetary poverty in 2020 alone according to UNICEF.

Millions of children living in vulnerable communities in countries all around the world may suffer from the far reaching economic and social impacts of the measures needed to contain the pandemic.

Children in Kenya were benefiting from universal free primary education, free health services for under-fives and improved access to national child protection services, among other gains but after decades of progress, children are now facing the risk of a decline in their rights on numerous fronts because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Places like London and Birmingham have the highest levels of child poverty in the UK, with more than half the children living below the poverty line in a dozen constituencies in both cities according to a report published by the End Child Poverty Coalition last month.

Corona virus has pushed so many thousands of families and in turn children into dire situations as more young people than ever are relying on food banks to eat.

World Vision’s assessments in 24 countries showed that COVID-19 is already affecting parents and
caregivers’ ability to meet the needs of their children and without urgent action, this will only get worse given that every second child, out of two billion children in the world, is living in poverty.

Their findings also indicated how the aftershocks of COVID-19 will threaten the lives and well-being of children in the following ways such as: Children at risk of hunger and malnutrition, Children at risk of child labour and child marriages, Children and families living in fragile contexts will suffer the most, Children living in urban informal settlements at risk of hunger
and abuse and Families pushed into poverty, as micro-small and medium
enterprises lose income and so on.

To understand the full extent of child poverty, all potential deprivations must be analysed directly. This also points to the need to implement multi-sectoral policies addressing health, education, nutrition, water and sanitation and housing deprivations to end multidimensional poverty