Child Poverty in Africa: An SDG emergency in the making

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisage an end to extreme poverty for ‘all people everywhere’. That goal is drifting out of reach for one group of people in one region: children in Africa.

  • On current trends, 305 million African children – two in every five – will be living in extreme poverty by 2030, accounting for over half of all global poverty. On average, 87 million will be born into poverty each year in the 2020s.
  • The interaction between slow and unequal economic growth, demography and the incidence anddepth of initial poverty is the primary driver of the increased presence of African children in the global poverty profile.
  • Failure to tackle child poverty will jeopardise efforts to achieve a wide range of SDGs. Childhood poverty is associated with increased risks of ill-health and mortality, malnutrition, and reduced opportunities for learning.
  • Changing this will require urgent and concerted effort. Social protection programmes have a key role to play, alongside increased and more equitable spending on child-related services.
Published 2019-08-27