Children and adolescents not only have specific needs that are different from those of the adult population, but, especially in the first years of life, are dependent on care and susceptible about what happens in their family or closest environment. In addition, it has been well demonstrated that short periods of deprivation and poverty can have irreversible long-term consequences on the cognitive, nutritional, physical, social and emotional development of children.
Added to this context, in monetary terms, poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean has a clear intergenerational bias: the incidence of poverty for the group of children and adolescents up to 14 years old is 19 percentage points higher than that of the group of people between 35 and 44 years old, and 31 percentage points more compared to people 65 years of age or older. If this condition of deprivation of the child population is not taken into account in the design of social policies, there is a risk of repeating the intergenerational cycles of poverty in the region.
From UNICEF, we technically assist governments to adopt a multidimensional approach in the conceptualization of poverty, which addresses more adequately the deprivations suffered by children and adolescents. In addition, we promote the linking of the results of child poverty with the design and adaptation of comprehensive social protection programs that contribute to the simultaneous reduction of deprivation, that enlarge the available resources and increase their effectiveness.