Poverty: monetary and multidimensional

Ending child poverty is not a dream

Zara Sargsyan
Black and white photo pictures a little boy during physical class in kindergarten.
UNICEF Armenia/2018/Osipova
02 November 2018

Poverty: monetary and multidimensional

Monetary child poverty is children living in households below the poverty line. Monetary child poverty is a crucial driver of deprivations children experience, and therefore multidimensional child poverty. It is not the only driver, however.

Multidimensional child poverty is children deprived across a number of dimensions such as health, education, nutrition, water, sanitation, living conditions, information, protection.

Child growing up in multidimensional poverty will not reach their full potential and will have diminished earning potential. As such they are more likely to be in (or head) households in monetary poverty as adults.


A central question towards ending child poverty is whether there is a basic package of policies and programmes that will address child poverty. There are many important nuances in answering this question, however there are also common threads that apply universally.

At their core, the policies and programmes to address child poverty will:

i) Provide quality and accessible services particularly for the most deprived children — including in areas such as nutrition, education and health which represent their multidimensional poverty — and drive whether children will be able to fulfil their potential and end the cycle of poverty; and

ii) Support families and households to have a minimum income and ensure financial barriers don’t prevent children from reaching their potential.

Implementing these policies and programmes requires analyzing and understanding why are children not accessing services — are they lacking or too expensive — and what is the response? How to ensure families have the income to be above the poverty line — cash transfers, employment support or provision of child care?

Overall the programme agenda to address monetary poverty can be categorized into three areas:

- Increasing income through livelihood and employment, including life skills training, job search support, laws and regulations to promote decent work, such as minimum wage, parental leave policies,

- Direct financial support to families with children, such as through transfers or tax credits.

- Addressing the cost of important goods and services to reduce the economic burden on household budget

- Supporting adolescents in their transitions to adulthood, particularly for young people who may be disadvantaged due to a lack of educational background or work experience.

- Provision of affordable and quality childcare services to facilitate the caregivers’ ability to work.

- Preventing child labour is also a response to monetary 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