The poverty problem: Facts & issues

making sense of the Challenge of Poverty

Children growing up in poverty face constant daily hardships and harsh living conditions that can steal away their childhood. The unrelenting stress of poverty can hinder a child’s brain development with long-term consequences on physical and mental well-being, leading to lifelong effects that follow them into adulthood.

Childhood poverty influences life choices, opportunities and continues a cycle that lasts for generations. Understanding the global landscape of poverty helps us build impactful programs and create change in the communities we serve.

The coronavirus pandemic and children in poverty

When pandemics like Covid-19 hit, regardless of where they start, they usually hit those in poverty first and worst. Low- and middle-income countries have weaker health systems and limited capacity to handle surges in illnesses, especially critical cases. The impacts are disproportionately harder on the poorer and more vulnerable segments in society. There are some estimates that this crisis will push 49 million people into extreme poverty in 2020, and the larger share will be in countries already struggling with high poverty rates — countries where Children International is working right now. 

The way this pandemic has impacted families around the world has made the support of sponsorship even more powerful. Sponsorship will fill the growing gaps between what a child in poverty has and what she needs.

To learn more about the impacts of covid-19 on poverty and our response to the unique challenges in the areas where we work, visit our Covid-19 info page.

Facts about poverty:
What are the big issues?

How does health impact poverty? Does inadequate education cause poverty or does poverty create a lack of education? And can poor health impact the learning process, too? Everything is intertwined, and where problems begin can be hard to understand. What isn’t hard to see is the need for support in the areas of health care, education, life skills and more, and that’s where our programs begin to fill the gaps.

Facts about poverty that may surprise you

Global poverty and health

Children living in poverty often have greater health problems and are more likely to suffer from disease because of a lack of proper treatment. Poor health can keep children from school for weeks or even years at a time, holding them further back in a system that was already inadequate. Our programs provide health care for children so they have a chance to focus on education, helping their families or just being a kid.

Facts about poverty and health

Global poverty and education

The problem of education and poverty doesn’t simply add up to inadequate educational systems. The lack of resources and support in these communities mean children fail to attend school, fall behind and drop out. Education is essential to giving children the tools they need to create lasting change in their lives, and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

Facts about poverty and education

Global poverty and employment

How can you apply for a job if you’ve never seen a resume? Or haven’t been taught how to speak to employers, or where to look for work? Youth in impoverished communities find themselves without the basic life skills to get a job. Our programs provide youth the skills they need to seek and secure stable employment in their local communities and put them on track to a better future.

Facts about poverty and employment

Global poverty and empowerment

Many children in poverty have never seen a life outside the lack and struggle of their current circumstances. One of the most important gifts we can give a child in poverty is the vision for a better future. Our empowerment programs foster social responsibility, instill leadership skills, and offer employment training to help children develop the hope and confidence to free themselves and their families from poverty.

Facts about poverty and empowerment 

Global poverty and giving

The problem of global poverty can feel so overwhelming that you may wonder where to start and if your donation could even make a difference? The answer is: yes, your support is a huge help. Working together, we can create lasting change for the children in our programs worldwide. How do we know? We’ve seen the results. Learn more about how your donation or sponsorship can make an impact.

Facts about poverty and impact

Global poverty and technology

We live in a technologically enabled society, and access to technology is a crucial part of moving communities forward. Certain regions of the world have access to mobile phones and computers, while others are almost completely left out, leaving them behind and stuck in poverty. Learn more about the implications of disconnection and how you can help.

Facts about poverty and technology

Global poverty and hunger

Hunger isn’t simply a matter of an absence of food. It can mean a lack of the right food, too. Some areas of the world suffer from scarcity while others have food without the right vitamins, minerals or nutrition, leading to an epidemic of obesity. Understand more about the problem of food disparity and how you can help.

Facts about poverty and hunger

Child poverty in the United States

Poverty isn’t only a developing world problem. Child poverty is seen everywhere, even in developed countries like the United States. It’s in every size city and small towns across the country. Read more about poverty in the U.S. and the far-reaching consequences it has on children living in these communities.

Facts about poverty in the U.S.

Poverty in Africa

Africa, where half of the population is children, is home to the world’s poorest people and least prosperous countries. Harsh conditions make it hard for its people to break the cycle of poverty and envision a better future for their children. Read more about what we can do to create change in Africa.

Facts about poverty in Africa

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