Despite unprecedented global prosperity, a staggering 40 per cent of all children in developing countries – over half a billion – are struggling to survive on less than $1 per day. Poverty is the main underlying cause of millions of preventable child deaths each year. It is the cause of tens of millions of children going hungry, missing out on school or being forced into child labour. Poverty causes lifelong damage to children's minds and bodies, perpetuating the cycle of poverty across generations. This is why poverty reduction must begin with the protection and realization of the human rights of children. Investments in children are the best guarantee for achieving equitable and sustainable human development. This document describes how children bear the brunt of poverty and explains why they are central to poverty reduction. It illustrates how UNICEF's efforts contribute to poverty reduction and the fulfilment of human rights.