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This booklet shows why development efforts must focus first and foremost on freeing children from poverty. Since the foundation of an individual's health and well-being is laid during the first years of life, early childhood is the most opportune time to break the poverty cycle.
Financing for development must aim to give children a healthy start in life. At a minimum, children need a package of basic social services of good-quality health care, education and safe water and adequate sanitation, so that they can grow to their full potential, free of disease, malnutrition, illiteracy and deprivation.
Because poverty also manifests itself in social and political marginalization and gender and other discrimination, it is also necessary to create an environment free of insecurity, violence and discrimination, to enable children to live with dignity and make use of available opportunities. These are their rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the building blocks of a free, peaceful and prosperous world.