As the economy world over is yet to come to terms with the increasing trade deficits, job losses and no demand at all, the poverty estimates are feared to worsen in the coming months.
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic an estimated one in six children or 356 million globally, were living in extreme poverty conditions. This phenomenon is going to witness a steep increase as the economy continues to be under stress and it may take more than a year for the economies to get back on track.
Even a new World Bank Group and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) analysis has also pointed out that sub-Saharan Africa, with its limited social safety nets, accounts for two-thirds of children living in households that struggle to survive on an average of USD 1.90 a day or less per person-the international measure for extreme poverty, while South Asia accounts for nearly a fifth of these children.
The analysis shows that the number of children living in extreme poverty decreased moderately, by 29 million, between 2013 and 2017. However, UNICEF and the World Bank Group warn that any progress made in recent years, has been slow-paced, unequally distributed, and at risk due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
The numbers that are being portrayed should shock us and make us to come out of the protected shells that we formally continue to wrap ourselves with. The numbers alone show the tough times the poor nations and poverty ridden people may have to face in near future.
And the scale and depth of what we know about the financial hardships brought on by the pandemic, are only set to make matters far worse. In many Indian states the governments have allowed most of the Industrial activity to resume but the shortfall in demand and slowest job creation has meant that fewer units are working to their full capacity.
Since the loss of jobs and a worsening socio-economic situation has a direct bearing on the lives of the children, the things that we comprehend may get even worse in the coming months. Children make up around a third of the global population, around half of the extreme poor are children. Furthermore, they are more than twice as likely to be extremely poor as adults.
The youngest children are the worst off nearly 20 per cent of all of them below the age of 5 in the developing world live in extremely poor households, making things even more terrible and scary.
Poverty and access to a better way of life deprives hundreds of millions of children of the opportunity to reach their potential, in terms of physical and cognitive development, and threatens their ability to get good jobs in adulthood.
This means that the situation that is arising out of the pandemic can have serious long term effects. Also making it clear that the governments at all levels need to come forth with solid and concrete plans to beat the predictions.
Therefore, the governments urgently need a children’s recovery plan to prevent countless more children and their families from reaching levels of poverty unseen for many, many years.