In Uganda, more than half of under-five-year-olds and more than a third of school-aged children are living in poverty – experiencing two or more deprivations. In some regions, such as West Nile and Karamoja, poverty affects 68 per cent of younger children.
Child poverty is about more than just income, it is about growing up with good healthcare and education, a strong family and community environment. According to recent data from the Child Poverty Report, despite the fact that income poverty is dropping substantially, the question still remains - how are the children faring?
“I eat only one meal a day, and in the afternoon I don’t understand what the teacher teaches because of missing a meal. I doze in class in the afternoon lessons.” Boy, aged between 11 and 14, Bundibugyo.
Poverty affects children differently than adults and when a child falls into poverty, it can last a lifetime. Child poverty sets the foundations into which their own children will be born, and the intergenerational cycle of poverty continues.
Not only do children as a whole bear the burden of poverty, they also experience it differently, depending on where they live, what families they are born into or what life circumstances they find themselves in.
Child poverty and deprivation are higher in rural areas, northern and eastern Uganda, in families where parents or the heads of households are uneducated and among orphans and fostered or adopted children.