28 May 2024

Shocks and the changing profiles of children living in poverty

In a world increasingly characterized by fragility and shocks, it is essential to evaluate and understand the changing profiles of children living in poverty, to expand UNICEF´s and partners' awareness and understanding of these changing patterns, and to explore the critical implications in terms of policy and programmatic responses, including through social protection.Using the example of a global shock, the COVID-19 pandemic, and research conducted by UNICEF Innocenti - Global Office of Research and Foresight, this policy brief examines the changing profiles of children living in poverty in two country contexts, Georgia and Uganda, and assesses the broader policy implications. HighlightsThe poverty profiles of children and their families can change rapidly in diverse ways during and following shocks. The Georgia and Uganda examples show that those who became at least temporarily poor due to the pandemic are increasingly urban, work in unstable employment, and have more children.While the focus of this brief is on the impacts of the pandemic, in the past years, other issues have exacerbated the situation of children living in/vulnerable to poverty, including the cost-of-living crisis, increased conflicts, and the climate crisis.In light of this, it is important for governments, UNICEF, and partners to quickly identify the changing profiles of children living in poverty and to reach them with the necessary policies and programmes, especially through inclusive social protection systems that have high coverage, are responsive to shocks and provide adequate benefits which are not capped according to the number of children.