Child Poverty in Jordan
According to UNICEF Jordan, one in five out of Jordan’s 3.16 million children endure multidimensional poverty. Children living in poverty suffer from a lack of health care options, inaccessible education, shortages of clean drinking water and nutritious food and lack of knowledge on proper hygiene practices. With the help of nonprofit organizations, child poverty in Jordan can reduce.
Children Face the Harshest Impacts of Poverty
In Jordan, refugee and stateless children suffer the greatest from extreme poverty. This is because, in Jordan, a child only receives citizenship based on the status of their father’s citizenship. This leaves children of single mothers or of multi-nationality households without rights. Public education and government-funded programs are not accessible to these children. A lack of access to education also keeps children rooted in cycles of poverty.
With 63% of Jordan’s population aged 30 years and younger, the impacts of poverty have hit Jordan’s younger population the hardest. In developing countries such as Jordan, with a national poverty rate of 15.7% in 2019, poverty also impacts the quality of health care services provided by medical centers as these centers typically lack essential resources and skilled professionals. Without adequate health care and nutrition, child mortality rates rise.
According to the World Bank, Jordan’s under-5 child mortality rate stood at 15 per 1,000 births in 2020. For reference, the global under-5 child mortality rate stood at about 37 deaths per every 1,000 births in the same year. Jordan’s child mortality rate has reduced significantly from 27 deaths in 2000, likely due to increased health care provisions.
Save the Children Takes Action
Save the Children has worked in Jordan since 1974, aiding more than 1.5 million children and families annually. Save the Children says every one out of 63 children in Jordan does not live to celebrate their fifth birthday, which is nine times higher than the rate in the United States. The organization provides resources to support the protection, health and education of vulnerable children in Jordan, regardless of their citizenship status.
For instance, from 2012 to 2022, Save the Children ran Early Childhood Care and Development Centers in the governates and refugee camps Azraq, Zaatari and Irbid. “These centers accommodate children aged 3 to 5 years, including children with disabilities, and work on preparing them for basic education by providing them with psychological, social and emotional support. The children also receive classes in writing, reading and mathematics, the organization’s website says. The organization also works on providing training for parents and caregivers to enhance their ability to contribute to the development of their children and improve children’s academic performance.
Looking Ahead in the Fight Against Child Poverty in Jordan
While child poverty in Jordan is prevalent, Save the Children is making a significant difference to improve health and education among children in Jordan. Through its continued work, as well as international aid, vulnerable children in Jordan should continue to receive the help they need.
– Leah Smith