This study, written by Equity for Children’s Director Alberto Minujin with UNICEF East Asia Pacific, is the first measurement of multidimensional child poverty at the regional level in East Asia and the Pacific.
It is based on data from seven countries in the region: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Viet Nam. The study results show that, of the 93 million children living in these seven countries, approximately 54% experience poverty as measured by deprivation of basic needs.
In 2006, approximately 36% of the children suffered severe deprivation in at least one of the seven dimensions identified as relevant for child poverty: food, water, shelter, sanitation, health, education and information. Further, approximately 14% suffered from severe deprivation on multiple dimensions. In the group of countries with the highest rates of child poverty (Cambodia, Lao PDR and Mongolia), approximately 83% of children were severely deprived in at least one dimension.
The study also highlights existing disparities within countries in the region. For example, children from ethnic minority groups in Viet Nam are 11 times more likely to suffer from multiple severe deprivations than children from ethnic majority groups, an unfortunate pattern found in many countries. Child poverty was 30% higher in rural Cambodia than in urban areas, 60% higher in rural Thailand and 130% higher in rural Philippines. Inequity and exclusion are important factors in discussing and eliminating child poverty.
Download the report here.