Whilst poverty hurts all human beings, it is more threatening to children. Childhood is a time of unique opportunity and vulnerability, and experiencing poverty in its various dimensions can be particularly damaging to a child’s development. Poverty denies children their right to grow up free from deprivation and want, and develop healthily to their full potential.
Over the years, drivers of poverty including; conflicts, climate change, violence against children, and lately the COVID-19 pandemic have greatly escalated child poverty. Experts have observed that children who were already disadvantaged by poverty and more vulnerable are being affected even more gravely by the pandemic and their very development and even survival are threatened. In 2020, as COVID-19 turned into a global crisis, the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty estimated that the global downturn in economic growth could push 117 million more children into poverty by the end of that year alone, 2020. The world bank in a report in 2021 further noted that the Covid-19 pandemic could increase learning poverty among children by an additional 72 million to 454 million.
To date, 1 in 2 people living in poverty is a child. More than 250 million children suffer from 2 or more deprivation in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, while 75 million children are living in relative poverty in the world’s richest countries.
The statistics are endless and all tell a sorry state of the world’s children. We need to change this. Lifting children out of poverty will make a huge difference in their lives, and those of the families, communities, and countries in which they live.
At Arigatou International – End Child Poverty, we are committed to mobilizing faith-inspired resources towards building a world free of child poverty by addressing both the human and structural root causes of poverty through; theological reflection and action, advocacy, knowledge generation, and mobilizing grassroots actions towards ending child poverty.