According to a new World Bank Group and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) analysis, an estimated one in six children – or 356 million globally – were living in extreme poverty before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and this is set to worsen significantly. Global Estimate of Children in Monetary Poverty: An Update notes that Sub-Saharan Africa – with limited social safety nets – accounts for two-thirds of children living in households that struggle to survive on an average of $1.90 a day or less per person – the international measure for extreme poverty. South Asia accounts for nearly a fifth of these children. Therefore, 84 percent of extremely poor children in the world reside in either Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia.
The report states that child poverty is more prevalent in countries prone to conflict. About 41.6 percent of children who live in fragile and conflict-affected countries affected by conflict and fragility live in extremely poor households, compared to 14.8 percent of children in other countries.
The report mentions that estimates of child poverty will worsen as a result of COVID-19’s adverse impact on income generation and food security.