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Media advisory

Children: The missing link between poverty and development

Who: UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy; Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz; and a panel of eminent thinkers.

When: 17 February, 10 AM to 12 PM; Labouisse Hall, UNICEF House,
East 44th Street (b/w 1st and 2nd aves.), New York, New York

What: A distinguished panel, including Kaushik Basu (Cornell University), Edmund Valpy Fitzgerald (Queen Elizabeth House / Oxford University), Rebeca Grynspan (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) and Sanjay Reddy (Princeton University / Barnard College) will debate key issues: How do children experience poverty differently from adults? How does this difference impact development debates, policies and actions affecting children? An open Q & A will follow the discussion.

TO ATTEND, PLEASE RSVP Marixie Mercado (mmercado@unicef.org) or call (+1 212) 326-7133
Key Facts and Figures
Over half the children in the developing world live without basic goods and services critical for survival and devlopment.

  • One is six children is severely hungry; one in seven has no health care at all; one in five has no safe water and one in three has no toilet or sanitation facilities at home.
  • Over 640 million children live in dwellings with mud floors or extreme overcrowding; and over 300 million children have no TV, radio, telephone or newspaper.
  • Over 120 million children are shut out of primary schools, the majority of them girls.

Child poverty has risen notably in richer countries. Only four developed countries – Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States – have fewer children living in low-income households than in the late 1980s. In 2000, only Finland, Norway and Sweden had child poverty rates below 5 per cent.

Children living in rural areas are twice as likely to be deprived of goods and services, and three times as likely not to attend school, as their peers in urban areas. In developing countries, children of families in the poorest quintile are more than twice as likely to die before age five as children in the richest quintile.

180 million children work in the worst forms of child labour; 1.2 million children are trafficked each year; 2 million children, mostly girls, are exploited in the sex industry.

An estimated US$40-70 billion is needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The world spends almost 1 trillion dollars annually on defence, and many countries, including some of the poorest, continue to budget far more for military armaments and personnel than for health or education.

For further information, please contact:

Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media, New York
(+1 212 326-7261 or aironside@unicef.org)

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Media, New York
(+1 212 326-7133 or mmercado@unicef.org)





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