The percentage of the population who are under 18 and defined as experiencing poverty by selected countries.
Report Points to Increasing Hunger
Published Thursday, June 4th, 2009
According to a United Nations report, hunger in South Asia has reached levels not seen in 40 years as prices of food and fuel have risen and the global economy slows. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that 100 million more people are going hungry compared to two years ago. The areas most affected are Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, all of which are seeing upheavals and conflict. The World Bank states that three quarters of the population or 1.2 billion live on $2 a day and nearly 400 million (including children) are chronically hungry. Factors for the rising numbers include declining wages at home, a drop in monies sent home from abroad, and high prices that force people to borrow money at high interest. Children are being pulled out of school and sent to work; income is being spent on food but not on other essentials; and women are forgoing food for families.
The report suggests that the two biggest countries, India and Pakistan, reduce their defense budgets to allow for an increase in social spending, plus the use of fiscal stimulus programs. Foreign aid is also mentioned as a remedy. Big spenders like Norway and the Netherlands have decreased foreign aid funds, yet after several years of decline, the United States has increased its foreign aid in 2008. The FY 2010 budget promises a further increase in foreign aid and assistance.
Report Predicts Child Well-Being Index to Worsen
Published Thursday, May 28th, 2009
According to the Child and Youth Well-Being Index Project at Duke University, gains made since 1975 in family economic well-being could be endangered over the next few years. The measure of family economic well-being is measured by a combination of poverty rate, median annual income, parental employment and health insurance coverage for children. The report describes a connectivity between the different measures and predicts that more than one out of five American children will live in poverty in 2010, with African-American and Hispanic children experiencing twice the level of poverty.
The United States has remained near the bottom of the industrialized countries in regards to child poverty rates, exceeded only by that of Mexico. The rate of child poverty in the US has in recent years flattened at the rate of 16.9% as of 2007. As for the other measures of the index, the average hourly real earnings for US workers has shrunk to $8.23 an hour (1982 dollars) in 2008. Except for the Asian population, the characteristics of families living in poverty suggest that children are more likely to live with their mother and be impoverished. Plus, since 2000, the number of children enrolled to the SCHIP (State Child Health Insurance Program) has more than doubled from 2000 to 7.145 million in 2007.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Social and Welfare - http://www.oecd.org/topic/0,3373,en_2649_37419_1_1_1_1_37419,00.html
To effectively enhance individual and social development policies need to address a wide range of employment, trade and labour standards, health, family, gender-equity, child development and education related issues.
US Health and Human Services - http://www.hhs.gov/
Much information is now available on World Wide Web (Web) sites via the Internet. The HHS Home Page is located at http://www.hhs.gov from where you can access and search electronically available HHS information; you may also go directly to HHS Agencies' (also referred to as Operating Divisions (OPDIVs)) home pages. Other HHS program services, clearinghouses, and information centers' telephone numbers and Web site locations are listed in the HHS Information and Hotline Directory located at www.hhs.gov/about/referlst.html.