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Poverty in Ireland
Ireland joined the EU in 1973, after which the country enjoyed a period of rapid economic growth between 1995 and 2007. In 2008, however, Ireland suffered a recession. The effect of this recession still echoes through the state of poverty in Ireland.

During their time of prosperity, Ireland’s GDP rose from 69.2 billion in 1995 to 275 billion in 2008. During this period, Ireland’s unemployment also fell from 11.7% to 6.7%. Experts suggest that this rapid economic growth was possible because many tech firms poured into Ireland during the 1990s. Ireland’s favorable tax rate, which was 20 to 50% lower than its neighboring countries, encouraged these tech firms. This constant investment by tech firms, international corporations and development in tourism further contributed to Ireland’s economic growth.

In 2008, the global financial crisis hit. Ireland’s unemployment rate spiked from 4.9% in 2007 to 6.7% in 2008. This employment rate peaked at 15.4% in 2012.

To remedy their economy, Ireland agreed to a 92 billion dollar loan package from the European Untion and the IMF in late 2010.  In March 2011, the Irish government further committed to meeting the deficit targets with Ireland’s EU-IMF bailout program. Through multiple measures, Ireland became the first country of the European Union to exit the bailout program in 2013.

Lasting Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis

According to Social Justice Ireland’s 2019 report of poverty in Ireland, 15.7% of Ireland’s population, or 760,000 people, lived below the poverty line. Among this number, 202,000 are children and 111,000 people living in poverty are in employment. Poverty can still be an issue for those individuals who are employed since many of these jobs are low-paying. Some estimates suggest that approximately 23% of Ireland’s full-time workforce worked in these low-paying jobs in 2019.

This is especially concerning since income disparity in Ireland is quite large. Researchers found that the top 10% of households have 24% of total disposable income while the bottom 10% only have three percent. This further contributes to child poverty in Ireland.

Child poverty is also one of the most concerning aspects of poverty in Ireland. In their same 2019 report, SJI estimated that around 23.9% of impoverished people in Ireland are children. This leads to deprivation in material, cultural and social resources that can aid them to develop into a healthy adult. Child poverty has far-reaching consequences on child development, education and future job prospect of those affected.

Combating Poverty in Ireland

The Irish government is taking active measures to combat poverty. For example, a report from the Economic and Social Research Institute found that Ireland’s tax system took most measures to reduce household income inequality among its European peers. In the ESRI report, researchers stated that, through broad-based Universal Social Charge and the early level that the income tax kicks in, the level of inequality in take-home income in Ireland is getting closer to the EU average.

To combat child poverty, the Irish government also devised a national policy in 2014, in which the government aimed to reduce children in poverty by two-thirds by 2020 by supporting families in poverty. Furthermore, the Irish government’s Budget 2020 will increase the Living Alone Allowance and the Qualified Child Payment, which both aim to further assist those on social welfare. The Irish government estimates that the new budget could help 108,000 children to enroll in early childhood care and education programs.

 

Poverty in Ireland is a remnant of the economic turmoil that the Irish people suffered during 2008. However, as apparent in Ireland’s economic growth after 2013, Ireland has proved its resilience. While income inequality and child homelessness are still an issue, the Irish government is more than cognizant of these problems. Many in Ireland have hope for a better economic future.

–  YongJin Yi
Photo: Flickr

10 Facts about Child Labor in Morocco
Morocco, led by the Justice and Development Party, has directly targeted poverty and led efforts to support social programs, employment opportunities and income equality. Although the real GDP of Morocco has been declining, economic growth is expected to increase by 3.3 percent between 2020 and 2021. In 2005, the Human Rights Watch released reports highlighting the relationship between child labor and the economy of Morocco. Since then, the Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and the World Bank have poured resources into Morocco in order to alleviate child labor and the economic strains which require families to push their children into labor. The Justice and Development Party has made significant progress in fighting child labor in Morocco; however, there is still work to be done. Here are 10 facts about child labor in Morocco.

10 Facts about Child Labor in Morocco

  1. Children in Domestic Work in Morocco: In 2017, 247,000 children between the age of seven and 17 had to work. Of these, 81.4 percent dropped out of school and 8 percent never attended school. The majority of these children live in rural areas. Morocco passed a human trafficking law that increased protections for children who were at risk for trafficking. This measure prohibited hazardous work for children, increased labor inspectors to enforce child labor laws and increased the criminal punishment for child labor.
  2. Legal Framework in Morocco: Many of the laws and regulations in Morocco do not meet international standards. Its 2018 laws on child labor, however, significantly improved legal protections for children. Morocco increased the minimum age for hazardous work to 18 and made education compulsory until 15 years old.
  3. Causes of Child Labor in Morocco: Poverty, poor quality education and a lack of access to education, electricity and water all impact whether or not children work. The rural population in Morocco is particularly susceptible to child labor due to the reliance of the rural economy on agriculture, rain patterns and rural-urban migration.
  4. Dangerous Forms of Labor in Rural Areas: In rural areas, 55 percent of working children work in unsafe environments. These environments include agriculture industries, forestry and fishing. Among these 154,000 children who work in rural areas, 20 percent work full time.
  5. Dangerous Forms of Labor in Urban Areas: In urban areas, the majority of children work full time in manufacturing or construction. Ninety-three percent of children who work in construction and public works work in hazardous environments.
  6. Abuse of Children in the Workplace: The Human Rights Watch reports that not only do many children participate in dangerous forms of labor, but many children are also abused in the workplace. Girls are especially vulnerable to deception regarding working conditions. Many girls work without a break for 12 hours at a time with no days off, and not enough food. Although Morocco limits workers to 44 hours per week, some girls reported working over 100 hours a week without a day off.
  7. Low Wages: Child laborers often work long hours for very low wages. The Human Rights Watch reports that on average, girls earn $61 per month, which is $261 below the average minimum wage for the industrial sector in Morocco. In Morocco, many employers provide room and board for child laborers. While this payment may seem thoughtful at first, girls report that they are often underfed and live in poor conditions. This only furthers the abuse that these children experience at the hands of their employers.
  8. Child Poverty and Child Labor: Between 2001 and 2014, the High Commission for Planning in Morocco reported that child poverty decreased by 6.2 percent per year. Because poverty is a leading cause of child labor, between 2001 and 2014, child labor also decreased.
  9. Promise Pathways Helps Decrease Child Labor: The United States Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs funds Morocco’s Promise Pathways program, which creates a web of local individuals dedicated to working with local communities to target causes of child labor, including education quality and learning opportunities. In addition to educational programs, Promise Pathways provides alternatives to domestic work, such as classes and coaching. Since its inception, 4,300 children have been lifted out of child labor.
  10. Overall Decrease in Children in the Workplace: Although Morocco is a long way from ensuring that no children have to work, Morocco has decreased the overall number of children in domestic labor. In 1999, 517,000 children were child laborers. In 2011, only 123,000 children were engaged in domestic labor. The number of children working in domestic labor increased between 2011 and 2017 due to the decline in the economy. However, the Human Rights Watch estimates that human trafficking laws will alleviate child labor in Morocco.

These 10 facts about child labor in Morocco shed light on the difficulties child laborers face. With continued efforts by the Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian organizations, hopefully child labor will continue to decrease.

– Denise Sprimont
Photo: Flickr

Child Poverty in Kyrgyzstan 

In 2013, child poverty in Kyrgyzstan was and remains around 32 percent. Although the number is high, the Central Asian country reduced the child poverty rate from 65 percent in 2002. Kyrgyzstan focused its efforts on reducing the overall poverty rate through social programs as the country developed economically after independence in the early 1990s. Despite the overall poverty rate dropping from 40 percent in 2006 to 25 percent in 2017, child poverty remains high. The negative effects of poverty, such as lack of education, clean drinking water and balanced nutrition, leads to a harsh life for children and the families that care for them.

Reasons for Child Poverty

Unemployment of parents is one of the main reasons for child poverty in Kyrgyzstan. The lack of sufficient income affects children in many ways. Healthcare and education might have to be cut if the parent or parents are in dire circumstances. Having one working parent reduces the risk of child poverty from 53.5 to 40 percent. Household size also increases the risk of child poverty. About 42 percent of children in poverty live in houses that contain four or more children. Similar to adult poverty, child poverty is mainly in rural areas. About 78 percent of poor children live in rural regions. Poverty among rural regions varies widely as well. Child poverty is 6.8 percent in Bishkek, 56 percent in Osh Province and 57.1 percent in Jalalabad Province. In these two regions, large families contribute to high poverty. The average household in these two regions has 2.9 children.

What’s Being Done

A social passport system, in use since the early 2000s, is one direct way that Kyrgyzstan is fighting child poverty.  The Unified Monthly Benefits includes discounts on heating, gas and hot water charges. In 2002, 92 percent of poor families had social passports.

As part of the Family and Children Support project, Every Child assists the most vulnerable families seeking help. The project included cultivating access and information to health and education services and recalculating social benefits. In 2018, Kyrgyzstan’s National Healthcare Reform Programme was completed. The results were on par with the Sustainable Development Goals relating to the key indicators for health. Children’s under-five mortality rate reduced from 33 percent in 2000 to 21 percent in 2015.

Ending Child Poverty

Child poverty reduced from 65 percent in 2002 to 32 percent in 2013, yet further assistance by NGOs and the government is needed to bring long-term changes to reduce it in Kyrgyzstan. Rural regions such as Osh Province and Jalalabad Province still have high rates that need addressing. Without sufficient income, families, especially large families, have difficulty providing proper healthcare and education to their children. Unified Monthly Benefits have helped grant families assistance to an array of benefits. Thanks to social programs, child poverty in Kyrgyzstan is being addressed, yet more work needs to be done to completely eliminate child poverty. With further progress, and based on the massive reduction in child poverty from 2002 to 2013, the country could end child poverty within the next 10 years.

– Lucas Schmidt
Photo: Flickr

child poverty in spain
Since the end of Spain’s economic recession in 2014, the country is the largest grower in the EU, with a GDP almost twice that of the average European country. Despite a six-year recession that impacted both the entire population and other countries in the Eurozone, the economy seems to have recovered. However, despite Spain’s economic recovery, the rate and likelihood of children in poverty have increased exponentially. Curiosity arises as to how an issue like poverty could arise in a country as developed as Spain.

The Problem

The rise of child poverty in Spain despite the recovery of the economy seems counterintuitive. However, studies show that one in three children are likely to be impoverished or socially excluded, according to the EU’s latest figures. As the results of their studies show, Spanish children are not only encumbered by a lack of income, but also lack of socialization, meaning that child poverty in Spain is multidimensional; this means a lack of proper education, nutrition, future employment, and social time on top of the financial crisis that has remained in many middle and low-class families despite the national economic recovery. Impoverished families are unable to prevent their children from reaching the same fate because the turn of the recession has resulted in a job market that provides no opportunity for even the most qualified candidates.

This issue is most dominant in middle and low-class families, and the middle class is already dangerously small. The trademark economic concept of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is true in the Spanish socioeconomic classes and results in the stretching and thinning of the middle class. These larger socioeconomic effects are only symptoms of child poverty in Spain. The reason why the focus of the recession is on children is that they are the most at-risk demographic; when parents are impacted, it extends to their children.

The Larger Issue

Child poverty in Spain has adverse effects on the rest of society, including senior citizens, young adults, and parents. The growing number of impoverished children puts pressure on the social pension systems that account for one of the fastest aging populations in Europe. Children trapped in poverty will grow to be adults who remain reliant on social and governmental assistance. Many young adults avoided higher education due to attractive employment opportunities before the recession, leaving a large population of eager, unaccredited workers in a job market that no longer needs it. Because of the lack of opportunity in the job market, parents are reliant on unemployment benefits or the pension of their parents.

Effects of The Problem

Because child poverty in Spain is a multidimensional issue, the effects correspond to their complexity. In terms of education, Spain has experienced a drop out rate 23 percent higher than the EU average since the beginning of the recession in 2008. In general, Spain’s dropout and unemployment rates are high, specifically among those of disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

Studies show that even very brief bursts of intense poverty can impact child development for the rest of their lives. Economists and child development specialists predict that if this poverty persists, the adults of the future will have been stunted in their development due to their reliance on pensions.

What Is Being Done?

Even Sevilla, the fifth most populated city in Spain and a huge tourist destination, falls victim to increasing child poverty rates. There are many gaps in the welfare system that are unaccounted for, which are essential to the development of children. For example, because of limited monthly income but the need to continue to feed their children, families are buying enough food for everyone, but without the necessary nutrients for developing bodies. As such, children in Spain aren’t necessarily hungry, they are impoverished. So, NGOs like Save the Children fill in the gaps in children’s diets by providing nutrient-rich meals.

Save the Children works in several domains that benefit the needs of at-risk or impoverished Spanish children, including nutrition, health and education. By filling in the dietary and academic gaps in these children’s lives, their families will have some security. In 2014, Save the Children reached 14,889 children and 5,635 adults through programs that combat educational poverty, social exclusion, and workshops that prevent the issue from furthering. The hope is that as the recovery continues, economic reform will result in a balancing of socioeconomic classes and the disparity will vanish. Until then, NGOs like Save the Children will continue to try and cover up the remaining holes in the system left by the recession in the hopes that the children they serve will grow up to lead a generation where poverty is the exception, not the expectation.

Hope for The Future

Child poverty is a major issue because these children will grow up to be the leaders of their nation. The increased rate of child poverty in Spain is an alarming problem that is fueled by an economic crisis and a weak social infrastructure. Child poverty in Spain is different than in other countries. Spanish children are not poor in the traditional sense. They are fed and have access to education. The nature of poverty is more nuanced than a lack of resources. Children in Spain are fed, yet malnourished, have access to school, but often drop out. The other key issue is the lack of socialization among peers. However, with NGOs like Save the Children who provide programs to areas in need, this issue can perhaps be alleviated. With directed efforts towards these specific problems and programs that are tailored towards the specific nature of these issues, child poverty can be eradicated, securing Spain’s future prosperity.

Andrew Yang
Photo: Flickr

International Children’s Peace Prize WinnersThe International Children’s Peace Prize, which was launched in 2005 by KidsRights, recognizes young people who are actively fighting for children’s rights. The mission behind the award is to provide children with a platform where they can express their ideas, stories and personal involvement so that more children can gain access to the basic human rights they deserve.

Each year, the winner of this prestigious award receives a study and care grant and a platform to promote their ideas to help other children around the world. Also, KidsRights invests £100,000 in a project fund in the winner’s area of work in their home country.

Here are three children who have won the International Children’s Peace Prize.

3 International Children’s Peace Prize Winners

  1. Nkosi Johnson was the first winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize, receiving the honor posthumously. The statuette that the organization gives out each year is named in his memory. Johnson was born HIV positive and died at the age of 12. However, in his short life, he actively fought for his and other children’s right to attend school and be treated equally. He opened a home for poor mothers and children with HIV/AIDS and encouraged the South African government to provide HIV/AIDS mothers with treatment options.
  2. At age 5, Om Prakash Gurjar and his family were forced to work on a farm to pay off the money his father owed to his landlord. Gurjar only received two meals a day and was beaten on a daily basis. He was not able to pursue his education further because he was working many hours a day to help his family. However, when he turned 8 years old, he was rescued by Kailash Satyarthi who was part of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan. This organization educated Gurjar about children’s rights and he received an opportunity to continue his education. At this point, he started advocating for the rights of other children and through many activities raised awareness for children’s rights and the importance of education. By the time he turned 12 years old, he was elected Chair of the Child Parliament of his school. When his school started demanding fees from parents, he sued and won a court case which required the school to refund his parents in his full. Gurjar won the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2006.
  3. Kesz Valdez became the first Southeast Asian to receive the International Children’s Peace Prize. At a young age, he was surrounded by poverty. When Valdez was just 2 years old, his abusive father forced him to collect garbage to earn money. At the age of 4 years old, he ran away from home and ended up begging on the streets. The turning point in his life came when he fell into a burning pile of garbage at a dump site and a social worker took him to the hospital. From that point on, the social worker took care of Valdez and took him under his wing. He got the opportunity to go to school for the first time and made the most of it.But he never forgot his roots. Once he was in a position to do so, he began distributing gifts to children living on the streets. This is how ‘Gifts of Hope’ started which signified Valdez’s first step in advocating for children’s rights. Gifts of Hope started with only seven boxes during its first year and now about 1,000 boxes are distributed every year.

Each year, the International Children’s Peace Prize recognizes children that have done extraordinary things to change their own destinies as well as help other young people around the world. 

Komalpreet Kaur
Photo: Unsplash

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation Reduces PovertyChildren account for nearly half of the world’s poor and arguably suffer the most because of it. Limited access to education, drinking water, food and opportunity are all symptoms of poverty that make it difficult for impoverished children to thrive. Unfortunately, only one-third of the world’s poorest children are covered by social protection from their governments. Therefore, it is essential for nongovernmental organizations and charities to help provide aid, investment and infrastructure that can help lift these children out of poverty. Several organizations have already helped uplift over one billion people out of poverty, many of these being children, in the last 20 years; one of these organizations is the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

What Is the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation?

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is one of the largest charitable organizations in the world and incorporates a multi-faceted investment strategy to improve the environments in which impoverished children live. The Foundation diversifies its $4.7 billion worth of assets into investments to help improve climate, education, access to food and child survival in developing countries. CIFF was founded in 2002 by Jamie Cooper-Hohn and hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn and has grown from its headquarters in London to include offices in New Delhi India and Nairobi Kenya.

How Does CIFF Reduce Poverty?

As the fund has expanded its operations, it has provided lifesaving and poverty-reducing initiatives for poor children in developing countries. In 2013, CIFF pledged to donate $787 million over seven years to tackle global malnutrition. This was part of a total pledge of $4.1 billion toward reducing malnutrition announced at the Nutrition for Growth summit in London. A study by the Lancet medical journal found that malnutrition contributes to 3.1 million under-five child deaths yearly or 45 percent of all under-five deaths. Reducing malnutrition saves lives, improves health and accelerates development in countries by providing a future for millions of children.

The fund has coupled this tremendous effort, with more targeted approaches toward various crises that have devastated impoverished children in affected countries. In 2014, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation gave $120 million to international health programs, increasing the number of children receiving antiretroviral therapy, funding deworming initiatives and combating the Ebola crisis in West Africa. These programs have helped save millions of lives.

Roundworms, hookworms and whipworms are common in tropical areas and specifically affect children in low-income areas who lack adequate access to sanitation. Worms contribute to the malnutrition of children in developing nations that kill millions each year. The $50 million donation to national deworming programs by CIFF will help establish the necessary healthcare and sanitation infrastructure that can help protect these vulnerable children. Furthermore, CIFF’s $50 million contribution to increasing access to antiretroviral therapy will help save the lives of the over 120,000 impoverished children who die from AIDS each year while its $20 million towards the Ebola outbreak in West Africa helped end the crisis.

CIFF continues to expand access to life-saving healthcare for poor children in developing nations. Recently, it has bolstered these efforts by supporting initiatives to protect children in developing nations from exploitation that bars them from access to an education that could lift them out of poverty. An estimated 25 percent of people trapped in slavery are children. CIFF has already pledged $18.3 million to protect children worldwide. This funding is going toward strengthing law enforcement systems, ensuring swift prosecutions of offenders, stopping the demand for products of child labor and campaigning to instill change.

These programs funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation reduce poverty by freeing impoverished children from the bounds that keep them from rising out of poverty. Good health, human rights and access to education are now within reach for millions of children because of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

– Anand Tayal
Photo: Flickr

Facts About Poverty in Italy

In 2017 the number of individuals in Italy living in “absolute poverty” rose to 5.1 million people, or 8.4 percent of Italy’s population. That number is up from the 7.9 percent reported back in 2016. Absolute poverty refers to a condition where a person does not have the minimum amount of income needed to meet the minimum requirements for one or more basic living needs over an extended period of time. With such a great amount of people unable to support themselves on a day to day basis and the overall region experiencing a rise in poverty levels each year, it is time to take another look at the facts about poverty in Italy.

10 Facts About Poverty in Italy

  1. Poverty is a threat in southern Italy. Southern Italy’s economy has grown slowly compared to northern Italy and its economy contracted by 13 percent from 2008 to 2013, almost twice as fast as the North’s at seven percent. Between 2007 and 2014, 70 percent of people in Italy who were in poverty were from southern Italy. The threat of poverty has caused some individuals to join the mafia in order to escaped the harshness of absolute poverty. Today, 47 percent of people still live at risk of poverty in southern Italy.
  2. The average household income in Italy rose in 2015, around €2,500 per month, but this was heavily concentrated in the richest fifth of Italy’s population. Think tank Censis reported that more than 87 percent of working-class Italians say it is difficult to climb the social scale, along with 83 percent of the middle class and 71 percent of the affluent.
  3. Italy’s debt is one of the worst in the E.U., with a national debt of $2.6 trillion, roughly 120 percent of its GDP. The debt was not as bad in the 1990s due to smart budgeting tactics, but after the global recession hit, the debt crisis began. Italy may not be able to sell its new debt to cover its old debt, indicating why these facts about poverty in Italy are so important to understand.
  4. Corruption within Italy has halted economic growth. More than 15 percent of Italy’s economy occurs on the black market and other underground avenues. With a past filled with tax evasion charges among others, Italy has seen its good government standing decrease over the years. Bad government leads to bad decision making which ultimately leads to the downfall of a good economic plan.
  5. Minors also face the brunt of poverty. In 2017, 1.208 million minors were living in absolute poverty. Children growing up in poverty leads to many problems down the road. Many may drop out of school to support their families or find other methods to garner a decent living. Italy’s poverty problem is so deep that not even children can escape it.
  6. With the establishment of new leadership in government, Italy is looking at a hopeful start to fixing its economy. Italy’s GDP rose 1.5 percent last year, the highest since 2010. While growth has been slow, the government is now actively trying to combat poverty.
  7. Recently the Italian government passed a bill that allocates €1.6 billion to help families in need as well as minors in need. The bill focuses on tackling poverty through welfare packages and anything else that can help people get by.
  8. The proposed bill gives families in need up to €400 each month. The estimate is that around 400,000 families will benefit from this new bill. The country’s Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti stated that the bill “fills a long-standing gap in the Italian system of protecting individuals on a low income, and is the sign of a new approach to social policy.”
  9. The grand plan to end poverty in Italy centers around the idea of social development, or establishing the means in which the foundation of Italy is secure and no one is at risk of being in poverty. Social development has been what the U.N. has cited as the most efficient way of reducing poverty.
  10. Italy looks to improve its economy each year at around one percent and continues to be optimistic about its chances of reducing poverty. Job growth is the priority of the current government and many steps are being made to accomplish that goal.

While Italy has one of the worst economies in the E.U., the nation is working to improve its conditions. These 10 facts about poverty in Italy demonstrate both the breadth and depth of the problem as well as the steps the country is taking to resolve its issues.

– Michael Huang
Photo: Flickr

The Merits of a Focus on Children in Extreme PovertyChildren are the world’s future. This phrase is often uttered, yet across the globe it is rarely enforced. Children in extreme poverty are affected differently than adults. Between inadequate nutrition, exposure to stress and a lack of early stimulation and learning, the disadvantages of growing up in poverty last a lifetime.

Consequences such as stunted development, low levels of skills needed for life and work, limited future productivity as adults and the generational cycle of poverty inhibit change in children living in poverty. These consequences are especially heinous because they debilitate the global human capital needed to grow and sustain economic prosperity.

Report Details Extent of Children in Extreme Poverty

Based on data from 89 countries representing 84 percent of the developing world’s population, UNICEF and The World Bank Group estimated that 385 million children were living in extremely poor households in 2013. Children are more than twice as likely to be living in households in extreme poverty. Roughly 19 percent of children in extreme poverty are estimated to be living on less than $1.90 a day, compared to an estimated 9 percent of adults.

The World Bank Group and UNICEF researchers conducted a comprehensive range of tests to check if changing these assumptions would affect their results. They tested their findings against realistic large and small economies of scale, as well as a range of realistic ratios comparing children’s consumption to adults’. In all cases, children still emerged with higher poverty rates across developing countries.

The World Bank Group is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world as the world’s largest funder of education, the largest external financier of the fight against HIV/AIDS and the largest international financier of biodiversity projects, water supply and sanitation projects.

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child. With work in 190 countries and territories, UNICEF translates that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children to the benefit of all children in extreme poverty.

Recommendations for Governments to Help Children in Extreme Poverty

Together, UNICEF and The World Bank Group have established partnerships with governments across the globe to address child poverty and to promote a range of cross-sector investments in the early years of life. Their goal is to end extreme poverty by 2030. This vision is central to the work of the World Bank Group and UNICEF. The two organizations are calling on governments to focus on four main areas to combat extreme poverty:

  • Ensure that the number of children in extreme poverty is routinely measured and addressed at the national level as countries work towards both ending extreme poverty by 2030 and improving the well-being of their poorest citizens.
  • Make deliberate policy decisions that ensure a country’s economic growth benefits all of its citizens, including making sure children are fully considered in poverty reduction plans.
  • Strengthen child-sensitive social protection systems, including cash transfer programs that give direct payments to families to help lift children out of poverty and protect them from its impacts.
  • Prioritize investments in education, health, nutrition, clean water, sanitation and infrastructure that benefit the poorest children and prevent people from falling back into poverty after setbacks like droughts, disease or economic instability.

Addressing these multidimensional aspects of children in extreme poverty is crucial. In the face of a global economic slowdown, ending extreme child poverty by 2030 will not be easy. However, change is possible.

– Richard Zarrilli

Photo: Flickr

Poverty Rate in the NetherlandsThe Netherlands is the sixth-largest economy in the European Union. Playing an important role in the European economy, the Netherlands has a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations and a low unemployment rate. However, poverty still exists in the Netherlands. Discussed below are the leading facts on the poverty rate in the Netherlands.

 

10 Facts on the Poverty Rate in the Netherlands

 

  1. The public debt of the Netherlands is 61.8 percent of the GDP in 2016. That makes Netherlands 64th on the public debt list comparing to other countries in the world.
  2. The unemployment rate in the Netherlands in 2016 is about six percent of the population, ranking them 72nd in the world, while the United States ranks 53rd with a rate of 4.7 percent.
  3. The Netherlands’ unemployment rate dropped from 6.9 percent in 2015 to 6 percent in 2016.
  4. The Dutch government projects the unemployment rate in the nation will decrease to 4.9 percent in 2017.
  5. The poverty rate in the Netherlands is 8.8 percent, which means about 1,400,000 people still live below the poverty line.
  6. The number of children growing up in long-term poverty in the Netherlands is about seven percent, which is about 125,000 people. According to CBS, most of those children live in single-parent families or families that rely on welfare benefits.
  7. Child poverty is considered to be a big problem in the Netherlands. The government believes actions need to be taken to fight against child poverty and children should be given a greater voice and should be directly involved in policy-making. Local authorities are responsible for considering children’s opinions. However, only five percent of the local authorities actually involve children in the process.
  8. Due to the financial crisis in 2008, the Netherlands experienced a protracted recession from 2009 to 2013. The unemployment rate doubled to 7.4 percent during the period and household consumption contracted for four consecutive years.
  9. The wealthiest 10 percent of the population in the Netherlands control about 24.9 percent of the whole country’s wealth. On the other hand, the poorest 10 percent of the population only control 2.3 percent of the country’s wealth.
  10. The inflation rate is 0.3 percent in 2016, which dropped 0.3 percent from 0.6 percent in 2015. The Netherlands is ranked 44th in the world.

The Netherlands is a wealthy country in Europe, but it also faces many problems such as child poverty. The poverty rate in the Netherlands is relativity low compared to many other countries in the world, but there is always room for improvement.

Mike Liu

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Turkey
Despite having one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Turkey needs to address its poverty problems. Recent data shows that child poverty in Turkey is spinning out of control, especially among rural populations. Located where Western Asia meets Southeast Europe, Turkey has a population of over 80 million people, with about 30 percent of the population under the age of 18. Many of these children lack basic necessities, such as education and medical care.

According to a recent report, two out of every three children are affected by child poverty in Turkey. This data is based on the European Union standards of living, which evaluates the material deprivation of the average household. The report explains that when making international comparisons, child poverty in Turkey is extremely severe and persistent. UNICEF builds on this by stating that as poverty continues to grow out of control, more Turkish children are threatened by the poverty threshold.

Rural populations are significantly further behind compared to the urban population in terms of education and wages. In rural areas, many schools lack teachers, which forces schools to accommodate as many as 100 students per classroom. These large classrooms lead to poor educational outcomes. Additionally, thousands of young girls in Turkey are out of school or denied education. This lack of education leads to poor wages and job opportunities, with some families resorting to child labor or child marriage in order to make ends meet.

Children are often times denied proper healthcare. According to UNICEF, immunization rates for childhood diseases are in need of improvement, especially in rural areas. There is also roughly 2,000 children with HIV/AIDS, with UNICEF believing the numbers are likely higher.

Steps are being made to address child poverty in Turkey. The Turkish government has made ongoing efforts to improve medical care for children, educational opportunities for girls and prenatal care for mothers. Additionally, UNICEF has partnered with Procter & Gamble and has helped educate 250,000 mothers about better parenting.

Experts state that it is absolutely crucial that Turkey addresses these impoverished living conditions since child poverty is one of the root causes of poverty in adulthood. One expert named Didem Gürses writes that “in order to break the generational cycle, poverty reduction must begin in childhood.”

Child poverty in Turkey must be addressed if Turkey wishes to end poverty and have a successful future.

Morgan Leahy

Photo: Flickr