TIME poverty

One in Five Children in Developing Countries Are Living in Extreme Poverty

United Nations Child Refugees
Bilal Hussein—AP In this Jan. 22, 2016 file photo, Syrian refugee children play outside their family tents in a camp in the town of Saadnayel, in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon.

UNICEF report suggests the youngest children suffer the most from the deprivations they face

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Nearly one fifth of children in the world’s developing countries are living in extreme poverty, according to a new report by the World Bank Group and UNICEF.

The report entitled “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Focus on Children,” released Monday, found that in 2013, 19.5 percent of children in developing countries lived in households making an average of $1.90 a day or less, compared with just 9.2 percent of adults.

Around the world, nearly 385 million children were living in extreme poverty, the report said.

“Children are not only more likely to be living in extreme poverty; the effects of poverty are most damaging to children. They are the worst off of the worst off — and the youngest children are the worst off of all, because the deprivations they suffer affect the development of their bodies and their minds,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement.

The report found that the highest share of children living in extreme poverty were in Sub-Saharan Africa, with just over 50 percent. The next highest share was in South Asia with 36 percent, with over 30 percent of those living in India.

To remedy the problem UNICEF and the World Bank Group called on governments to focus on children in their national poverty reduction plans, strengthen programs that aid children and prioritize investment in programs that benefit the poorest children.

The global estimate of extreme child poverty is based on data from 89 countries, representing 83 per cent of the developing world’s population.

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