FOCUS AREAS (ISSUES)
Child poverty is multi-dimensional in nature. This is because child poverty affects children in different ways, it is caused by several interconnected factors, and each child experiences and understands poverty in a unique manner.
Globally, the world has undergone shifts in the landscape that determines child poverty and its multi-dimensional nature.
On the one hand, positive progress has been made towards reducing overall rates of poverty across various metrics, with deliberate efforts towards realising the former Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the adaptation of the later Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As result, positive outcomes for children have been witnessed in key areas including increased education access for children, improved childhood nutrition, and reduced infant and maternal mortality.
The need for pro-poor and pro-development policies has been largely advocated for, including specific interventions such as universal child-sensitive social protection and universal child benefits.
Further, children’s rights and children’s wellbeing have increasingly occupied growing space in policy frameworks and national actions, through instruments such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and multi-dimensional Child Poverty Indices being utilised.
Faith communities and faith actors have continued to provide services that benefit children, as well as amplify the needs and voices of children, from the grassroots to global levels.
Moreover, it has become easier to access and disseminate information – including that relevant to tackling child poverty – through the online social connections, as well as other multiple communication streams.
However, prominent challenges remain in ensuring that all children live free of poverty and all children experience their rights.
Though education for children has become widespread, huge gaps in quality and universal access, including access to digital learning, remain a present reality.
Similarly, modest economic growth was experienced across many countries, post the 2008 global financial crisis, but multiple economic challenges persist at global and national levels. Factors including unemployment, recession, stagflation, inflation, and ever-increasing inequalities, all contribute to deepening the levels of poverty.
Violent conflicts have led to the greatest number of displaced persons and refugees globally, since the Second World War. The world over has witnessed a great number of children-on-the-move, both accompanied and unaccompanied minors seeking refuge and safe spaces. This is, not only due to fleeing conflicts, wars and violence, but also due to economic crises and adverse effects of climate change.
Coupled with poor governance, corruption, injustice, restrictions on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB), and shrinking spaces for civic and democratic political engagement, these socio-political aspects continue to fuel instability, and ultimately undermine systems and structures necessary to overcome poverty.
Additionally, climate change due to accelerated global warming, has led to wide-spread negative impacts on the environment, ecological systems, health, livelihoods and various other aspects of society.
Still, it is evident that there is a global hunger crisis and malnutrition and hunger among children is rampant. The Horn and Sahel regions of Africa have been plagued with prolonged draught and famine, while children in the Middle East region face starvation due to protracted conflicts in several countries. Steep increased in food prices globally further complicate this problem.
Furthermore, natural disasters and shocks such as the global covid-19 pandemic greatly eroded development gains, exacerbated the drivers of poverty, and negatively impacted children across all of society.
Response action to secure the wellbeing of all children and the eradication of child poverty, is perhaps more urgent now than ever before. For this reason, End Child Poverty prioritises our strategic responses evidenced by several key issues concerning multidimensional child poverty.