Ending child poverty-an urgent priority

We are calling on people and leaders around the world to take action to end child poverty

Zara Sargsyan
Black and white photo pictures three children-two boys and a girl sitting on the bench in kindergarten.
UNICEF Armenia/2018/Osipova
02 November 2018

Ending poverty has become a defining goal for this generation, one that we all aspire to achieve and want to contribute to. But sadly, the reality is children remain disproportionally affected. Millions of children around the world remain poor, and deprived of what they need to develop and thrive.

We need to change this. UNICEF is calling on people and leaders around the world to take action to end child poverty as part of the SDGs.


Whilst poverty harms all human beings, it is more threatening to children. Childhood is a time of unique opportunity and vulnerability, and experiencing poverty in its various dimensions can be particularly damaging to a child’s development.

Children growing up in poverty are much more likely to die before their 5th birthday, and less likely to be well nourished, or receive a good education, basic healthcare or clean water and decent sanitation.

Poverty denies children of their right to grow up free from deprivation and want, and develop healthily to their full potential.

Child poverty isn’t just a problem in poor countries. In every country with available data children are most likely to be poor. Even in the world’s richest countries, children remain disproportionally concentrated among the poor.

Child poverty is an issue that faces all societies, and must bind us, globally.


The good news is that the world has already cut extreme poverty by more than half since 1990, and made crucial progress in reducing child malnutrition, expanding education, and providing many children with basic health care, safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

But this is not enough. Many children continue to be born and grow up in poverty in its different dimensions, whilst alarming disparities persist, with the poorest children furthest behind.

We need to change this. Lifting children out of poverty will make a huge difference to their lives, and those of the families, communities, and countries in which they live.

Investing in children through better healthcare, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, and social protection is one of the best ways to allow children to fully develop and thrive. These investments have demonstrated benefits for children with high returns, especially when started from an early age, and can make a lasting difference to ending child poverty.


The next 15 years will be crucial.

We are calling on people and leaders around the world to take action to end child poverty.

We all have a role to play — including national governments, the UN, researchers and civil society, citizens and children themselves — to come together for children.

Please spread the word to help #ENDchildpoverty in all its forms.


Source: www.endchildhoodpoverty.org