UN chief calls for ending child poverty

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the international community to empower children to end poverty.

In his message for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which falls on Thursday, the UN chief said children are more than twice as likely to live in extreme poverty than adults, and poverty condemns many children to lifelong disadvantage and perpetuates an intergenerational transfer of deprivation, Xinhua news agency reported.

He highlighted that girls are at particular risk, but they are also a force for change. “For every additional year a girl remains in school, her average income over a lifetime increases, her chances of being married early decrease, and there are clear health and education benefits for her children, making it a key factor in breaking the cycle of poverty,” he said.

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One of the keys to ending child poverty is addressing poverty in the household, from which it often stems, said Guterres, adding that access to quality social services must be a priority, yet today, almost two-thirds of children lack social protection coverage.

He added family-oriented policies are also indispensable, including flexible working arrangements, parental leave and childcare support.

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17 each year since 1993. This year’s theme is “acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty.”

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