Anjali, 7 and Nandini in the Madhu Basti, Kolkata, India.

Child poverty

Bringing hope to those left behind

We help tackle poverty globally

In 2017, we helped 1.6 million children, around the world, escape extreme poverty.

The impact of child poverty can be devastating – and it lasts a lifetime. Around the world, the poorest children are most at risk of disease, malnutrition and stunting.

They’re more likely to miss out on school, or get a poor quality education. And there’s a greater chance they’ll suffer early marriage, physical violence or child labour.

Our work campaigning for change, and on the ground with the most disadvantaged families shows that child poverty isn’t inevitable. And now governments are recognising this too.

In 2015, more than 160 national leaders signed up to 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a set of targets that could end hunger, extreme poverty and preventable child deaths by 2030.

We’re doing everything we can to make sure they deliver.

We're also working to tackle child poverty in the UK. Britain's one of the world’s richest countries, yet rates of poverty are rising – which means more children growing up without the essentials they need to fulfil their potential.

Robert is four years old and lives in Turkana county, one of the poorest parts of north-west Kenya

Robert is four years old and lives in Turkana county, one of the poorest parts of north-west Kenya

Around the world: 

  • 569 million children and young people live on less than a £1 a day.
  • 5.9 million children die each year – most in the world’s poorest communities, and from diseases that could have been prevented.
  • 78% of the poorest people live in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Our programmes are designed to ensure maximum impact for children. Below are just a few of the things were doing.

Ethiopia: As part of a programme to support 10,000 of the most vulnerable families, we’re training people to grow vegetables and farm livestock to increase their income. We’re also helping them form saving groups and access small finance initiatives.

Yemen: Working across three districts, we’re improving food security by training young men and women in skills that will help them find employment and offering food vouchers in exchange for community work.

Bangladesh: In partnership with the Bangladesh government and others, we’re tackling childhood stunting by changing the way nutrition services are delivered and helping people develop sustainable livelihoods. We’re also supporting mothers and young children in 191,000 vulnerable households.

Lebanon: Alongside five other NGOs, we’re giving cash assistance to help the most vulnerable Syrian refugee families afford food and essential items. The monthly payments will reach around 154,000 people.

How we help: Naima's story

Naima’s mum, Jasmine, used to have to miss meals so that her two children could eat. They live in one of the poorest and most hard-to-reach areas of Bangladesh, where many families struggle to get by.

We gave Naima’s parents a small grant to help them build a sustainable business. Now, her dad has set up his own garage, and the whole family’s standard of living has improved.

“We knew we could help ourselves if we were just given a head start.” Jasmine says. “Now we all eat three meals a day and sometimes we can even afford milk.”

They’ve been able to improve their home too, replacing the leaking roof and installing solar panels. “We’re so happy we have this as it means our children can study properly and get the best possible education,” Jasmine says.

Naima, holding a homegrown coconut.

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