According to data compiled by the World Bank and UNICEF, an estimated 1 in 6 children or 356 million globally lived in extreme poverty before the pandemic, they still do and this is set to worsen due to COVID-19.
“1 in 6 children living in extreme poverty is 1 in 6 children struggling to survive,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF Director of Programmes. “These numbers alone should shock anyone. And the scale and depth of what we know about the financial hardships brought on by the pandemic are only set to make matters far worse. Governments urgently need a children’s recovery plan to prevent countless more children and their families from reaching levels of poverty unseen for many, many years.”
Released data shows that the number of children living in extreme poverty decreased moderately by 29 million between 2013 and 2017. Additionally, extreme poverty among children has not fallen as much as it has for adults, a larger share of the global poor were children in 2017, compared with that in 2013.
The UNICEF said, child poverty is more prevalent in fragile and conflict-affected countries, where more than 40 percent of children live in extremely poor households, compared to nearly 15 percent of children in other countries.
The UNICEF added that more than 70 percent of children living in extreme poverty live in a household where the head of the house works in agriculture.
The World Bank stats indicate that Sub-Saharan Africa alone accounts for two-thirds of extremely poor children living in households that struggle to survive on an average of $1.90 a day or less per person
Although children make up around a third of the global population, around half of the extremely poor are children. Children are more than twice as likely to be extremely poor as adults (17.5 percent of children vs. 7.9 percent of adults).
The analysis indicated that the youngest children are more likely to be affected by extreme poverty, nearly 20 percent of all children below the age of 5 in the developing world live in extremely poor households, UNICEF.
UNICEF and the World Bank Group continue to warn that any progress made in recent years is concerningly slow-paced, unequally distributed, and at-risk due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably pushed Millions around the world into extreme poverty, especially children, women, and girls that are less likely to strive hardest with the economy as compared to men.