Uh oh, you are using an old web browser that we no longer support. Some of this website's features may not work correctly because of this. Learn about updating to a more modern browser here.

Skip To Content

Child Poverty

Our movement's child poverty programmes reached 3.7 million children in 2021.
Children pose for a photograph at the temporary settlement for IDPs in Idora

Children pose for a photograph at the temporary settlement for IDPs in Idora. Image credit: Seifu Assegid / Save the Children

Globally, one child in five lives in extreme poverty. 

The poorest children are most at risk of disease, malnutrition and stunting. They’re more likely to miss school, or get a poor education. And there’s a greater chance they’ll suffer early marriage, violence or child labour.

But child poverty isn’t inevitable, as the story of Meera, below, shows.

Governments are now recognising this too. In 2015, over 160 national leaders signed up to 17 Sustainable Development Goals, targets that could end hunger, extreme poverty and preventable child deaths by 2030.

We're campaigning tirelessly to make sure governments deliver.

We're also working to tackle child poverty in the UK. Britain's one of the world’s richest countries, yet rates of poverty are rising, with serious implications for children's future life chances.


Meera, 10, lives in a large marketplace in Delhi, India, with her mother and her two younger sisters. They sleep under a piece of plastic on a blanket amongst other families.

Meera has spent most of her life on the streets, begging for food.

Thanks to help from Save the Children and other local partners, she's recently been able to start going back to school after being supported by a shelter for homeless families, funded by Save the Children via local partners.

The shelter now allows Meera to go to school in the mornings and spend her afternoons playing in and around the shelter with her friends.

  • 569 million children and young people live on less than £1 a Day
  • 5.9 million children die each year - most in the world's poorest communities and from preventable diseases
  • 78% of the poorest people live in south asia and Sub-saharan africa
  • On current trends, 305 million children in Africa will be living in extreme poverty by 2030 - accounting for over half of all global poverty.

Here's a few of the things we're doing;

Better data: Our new Child Inequality Tracker, GRID, gives us better data-driven insights into how children’s futures are affected by gender, wealth or region.

Tracking COVID-19
: Created the Covid-19 live tracker to monitor evidence and research into the pandemic’s effect on children.

Unpayable debt: Advocating for debt relief for the poorest countries, pushed into or towards debt distress by the pandemic, and co-signing an international call to the on the G20 to invest in the response to Covid-19.

Bangladesh: Tackling stunting by changing the way nutrition services work and helping develop sustainable livelihoods. We’re also supporting mothers and young children in 191,000 households.

Ethiopia: Providing farming training to help people grow income. We’re also helping them form saving groups and access finance initiatives.

Lebanon: Providing cash assistance with five other NGOs to help the most vulnerable Syrian refugees afford food and essentials. Monthly payments will reach around 154,000 people.

Nigeria: Protecting children from extreme poverty with first-ever social protection policies and cash transfer programmes.

: Improving food security by training young people searching for employment and offering food vouchers in exchange for community work.

Related reports and blogs

COVID's Kids: 
The pandemic has been a stark reminder of our vulnerability as individuals, as societies and as a species. 

Make Childcare Work: 
Fixing upfront childcare costs for families on Universal Credit

Read our blog: Tackling child poverty in Northern Ireland

Share this