Child Poverty in India

UNITED NATIONS: India is home to over 30% of almost 385 million children living in extreme poverty, the highest in south Asia, according to a new report by World Bank Group and Unicef, ‘Ending Extreme Poverty: A Focus on Children.’

It said children are more than twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty. In 2013, 19.5% of children in developing nations were living in households that survived on an average of USD 1.90 a day or less per person, compared to just 9.2% of adults. Globally, almost 385 million children are living in extreme poverty.

The report said sub-Saharan Africa has both the highest rates of children living in extreme poverty at just under 50%, and the largest share of the world’s extremely poor children, at just over 50%. “South Asia has the second highest share at nearly 36% -with over 30% of extremely poor children in India alone,” it said, adding that four out of five children in extreme poverty live in rural areas.

The report said children are disproportionately affected as they make up around a third of the population studied but half of the extreme poor. The youngest are the most at risk with more than one-fifth of children under the age of five in the developing world living in extremely poor households. “Effects of poverty are most damaging to children. They are the worst off and the youngest children are the worst off of all,” said Anthony Lake, executive director, Unicef.

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