Nearly a fifth of children in developing countries are living in extreme poverty, the World Bank and the UN's children's agency say. Nearly 385m children in total, were in households making $1.90 (£1.45) a day or less, the report said. They include half the children in sub-Saharan Africa and more than a third of those in South Asia.
The report entitled "Ending Extreme Poverty: A Focus on Children," released Monday, found that in 2013, 19.5 per cent of children in developing countries lived in households making an average of $1.90 a day or less, compared with just 9.2 per cent of adults. The report found that the highest share of children living in extreme poverty were in Sub-Saharan Africa, with just over 50 per cent. The next highest share was in South Asia with 36 per cent, with over 30 per cent of those living in India.
"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 of Unicef said. The UN has set a target of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
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.