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Over half of young Ugandan children live in poverty, says new report on child poverty in Uganda

Child-poverty focused investments needed to lift millions of Ugandan children out of poverty


Kampala, 10 June 2014
– Fifty-five per cent of children in Uganda under 5 years of age – 3.7 million – along with 38% of 6-17 year olds are living in poverty, according to a new Government of Uganda and UNICEF report on child poverty launched today. 

Looking directly at the services Ugandan children have access to, the Ugandan Child Poverty and Deprivation report provides the most holistic analysis on the multiple challenges and deprivations faced by children across Uganda to-date.

“The findings of this report show us that millions of Ugandan children are currently deprived of many of the essential services they need to grow up healthy and develop to their fullest,” said Hon. Sulaiman Madada, Uganda’s Minister of State for Elderly and Disability Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. 

The report defines child poverty as a child being deprived in two or more of the following basic child rights: health care, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, shelter and information. Some of the key findings in the report, include the following:

·        Around 2.2 million children below five years of age suffer from stunted physical and cognitive growth due to undernutrition

·        15% of children have never attended school

·        42% of childbirths are unattended

·        36% of children walk an hour to fetch water

·        A third of children in the poorest households have no access to a toilet

“It is imperative that we now sharpen our focus and intensify our efforts to holistically address these issues and unleash these impoverished children’s potential; that is the only way we will realise our national vision of Uganda being a middle income country by 2040,” Minister Madada added.

With children in rural areas being three times more likely to live in extreme poverty than those in urban areas and child poverty being much higher in northern Uganda than the rest of the country, the report also shows wide disparities amongst children living in poverty across Uganda. 

“It is really quite simple: the greater the investment in Uganda’s poorest and most deprived children, wherever they are, the greater Uganda’s future growth and development will be,” said Mrs. Aida Girma, UNICEF’s Representative to Uganda.

“With the National Development Plan 2 in view, we thus call on the Government and other stakeholders to prioritise developing child poverty-focused investment mechanisms, such as providing cash transfers to families with children living in poverty, so that the millions of poor and deprived children today are able to come out of poverty and contribute to driving Uganda’s development tomorrow,” she said.

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Notes to Editors

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is the lead Government agency in the implementation and protection of children in Uganda.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact:

Kyateka Mondo, Assistant Commissioner – Youth Affairs/Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, +256 776 000 909, kyateka@yahoo.com

Charles-Martin Jjuuko, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Uganda, +256 717 171 111, cjjuuko@unicef.org

 

 
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