Social policy and governance

Addressing child poverty and building the resilience of families

Children smiling while inside a UNICEF tent
UNICEF Philippines/2013/Jeoffrey Maitem


Although the poverty rate in the Philippines has been decreasing, current government initiatives are not enough to reduce families’ vulnerability and to protect themselves against risks and losses to their income. This prevents children from enjoying their rights to quality education, good health and protection from violence, exploitation and abuse.

More than 13 million Filipino children—more than a third of all children in the Philippines—live below the poverty line.

The Philippines aims to reduce the poverty rate to 14 per cent by 2022. Without the safety net of social protection programmes, children living below the poverty line face multiple vulnerabilities that threaten their survival and growth. They easily end up suffering from poor health and malnutrition, reducing their potential as adults and the nation’s ability to provide a good and strong workforce in the future.


UNICEF aims to address the different dimensions of child poverty in the Philippines and build resilience among families to shocks and stresses caused by natural disasters, armed conflict and climate change. We partner with the Philippine government and civil society to:

  • Use evidence to influence national policy development, planning and budgeting in favour of the most vulnerable children
  • Foster innovative approaches to using quality data and research to address multidimensional child poverty
  • Further integrate disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation in local government planning and budgeting systems
  • Strengthen the government’s capacity in results-based monitoring, evaluation and reporting
  • Ensure that socially excluded groups, including indigenous children and children with disabilities benefit from the Government’s universal social protection and poverty reduction programmes