Every day, the effects of poverty take the lives of thousands, with children suffering the most. Chronic poverty makes children more susceptible to disease, hunger, and developmental problems. Here are the most concerning facts about child poverty:
- According to the World Bank, more than 400 million children are living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day).
- Roughly 16,000 children die each day—mostly due to preventable or treatable conditions.
- UNICEF estimates that over 2 million children ages 10-19 have HIV.
- Roughly half of all deaths of children under the age of five are caused by malnutrition.
- The International Labor Organization reports that 168 million children are child laborers; many of them in dangerous lines of work, such as factory jobs.
The question then arises, what can be done about child poverty? The good news is that, despite the previous data, progress is being made every day combating this issue. Here are four facts on the fight against child poverty:
- According to UNICEF, the mortality rate for children under age 5 has decreased by 53 percent since 1990.
- The World Health Organization says the most important element in reducing the mortality rate for children is increasing access to healthcare worldwide, particularly in preventative measures such as vaccines.
- Global programs, such as the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), are working to achieve WHO’s goal of increasing access to preventative care. Started in 2010, more than 235 million Africans have been vaccinated against meningitis through MVP.
- Ending child poverty can start with an individual. You can donate to an organization working to combat child poverty, and you can do things like contact congress to voice support for increasing foreign aid to causes like this.
The global community has made strides in combatting child poverty, but there is still work to be done to ensure sustainable futures for the world’s youth.
– Emily Milakovic
Photo: U.N. Multimedia