Child poverty is more than the lack of monetary means. Although measures such as household income are important, they provide only a partial view of the plight of children living in poverty. Therefore to understand the full extent of child poverty as well as the impact of COVID-19 on it, we must look at children’s ability to access health, education, nutrition, water and sanitation and housing services.
Approximately 150 million additional children are living in multidimensional poverty – without access to these essential services – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the analysis jointly carried out by Save the Children and UNICEF. Using data on access to education, healthcare, housing, nutrition, sanitation and water from more than 70 countries, the authors find that around 45 per cent of children were severely deprived of at least one of these critical needs before the coronavirus pandemic even hit. And although the current data paint a dire picture, the situation for children living in multidimensional poverty is likely to worsen unless national governments and the international community step up to soften the blow.