A new UNICEF-World Bank report indicates that about 333 million children globally, or 1 in 6, live in extreme poverty.
The report found that the economic impact of COVID-19 led to three lost years of progress or 30 million fewer children than projected in the absence of COVID-19-related disruptions.
Before Covid19 the number of children living on less than US$2.15 a day decreased from 383 million to 333 million or 13 percent, between 2013 and 2022.
The analysis Global Trends in Child Monetary Poverty According to International Poverty Lines, warns that at current rates of reduction, the SDG goal of ending extreme child poverty by 2030 will not be met.
The report indicates that sub-Saharan Africa carries the highest burden of children or 40 percent living in extreme poverty, and accounts for the largest share increase in the last decade, jumping from 54.8 percent in 2013 to 71.1 percent in 2022.
This steep increase has been attributed to rapid population growth, limited social protection measures, and challenging global trends including COVID-19, conflict, and climate-related disasters.
Meanwhile, all other regions in the world have seen a steady decline in extreme poverty rates, with the exception of the Middle East and North Africa.
Although children make up only a third of the global population, they comprise more than 50 percent of the extremely poor.
Children are more than twice as likely as adults – 15.8 percent versus 6.6 percent – to live in extremely poor households, lacking the food, sanitation, shelter, health care, and education they need to survive and thrive.
The most vulnerable children, such as those living in rural settings and children living in households where the head has little or no education, are significantly more affected by extreme poverty.
According to the report, an estimated 1 in 3 children in countries affected by conflict and fragility live in extremely poor households, compared to 1 in 10 in non-fragile states.