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Report: African Children Will Make Up ‘Half of World’s Poor’ by 2030

2019-9-20

By the year 2030, African children will make up more than half of the world’s poor people, warns a new report.

The warning comes as more than 150 world leaders prepare to attend the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. The conference opens in New York City on September 25.

In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, a Karamojong woman prepares a meal at her village in the semi-arid savannah region of Karamoja, in northeastern Uganda. (AP Photo/Adelle Kalakouti)
In this photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, a Karamojong woman prepares a meal at her village in the semi-arid savannah region of Karamoja, in northeastern Uganda. (AP Photo/Adelle Kalakouti)

UN member states agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the 2015 General Assembly meetings. Number one on the list of goals is ending extreme poverty by 2030. But the world will not meet that target, the report said. It added that international efforts to end extreme poverty among children in Africa are a failure.

The report comes from the aid group Save the Children and the London-based Overseas Development Institute.

Children in Africa will account for around 55% of all extreme poverty in the world by 2030,” notes Kevin Watkins. He is the head of Save the Children UK.

An estimated 87 million African children will be born into poverty each year in the 2020s, the report said. It noted that about 40% of Africans still live on less than $1.90 a day.

“Women are still having four to five children, and it’s the part of the world where poverty is coming down most slowly, partly because of slow growth but also because of very high levels of inequality,” Watkins said.

“A child born into poverty … they are between two and three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday. They are far less likely to escape poverty themselves,” he added.

The report criticizes African governments for failing to develop reasonable policies. It also warns that the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other donors are failing in their efforts to end child poverty in Africa.

Watkins said big changes are needed immediately.

Getting financial “resources to children who are living in poverty has to be part of the solution,” Watkins said. “But we also know that money is not enough.” He added that the children will need healthful food, basic medical care and quality education to beat poverty.

The report warns that if poverty reduction targets are not met, the world will also fall short on other development goals in education, health and gender equality.

I’m Susan Shand.

VOA’s Henry Ridgwell reported this story. Susan Shand adapted his report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

account – v. to provide an explanation

resource – n. a supply of money, materials and other objects needed to make someone or something operate effectively

gender – n. whether one is male or female