Poverty and equal opportunities

Poverty and equal opportunities

From Andrew Russell

However, even extreme poverty has not been eradicated, and moreover there are places on the planet where a significant number of people remain poor from generation to generation.

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The inability to protect children from poverty and thus to ensure equal opportunities for their development are among the costliest mistakes that a society can make. Undoubtedly, the heaviest burden is borne by the children themselves. For society, however, the price is extremely high, too — it includes lower skills and productivity, shorter life expectancy and lower academic achievements, higher risks of unemployment and social dependence, higher social protection expenditure, as well as loss of social cohesion.

Specific solutions exist to tackle child poverty that have proven to be effective. The steps identified by the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty in 2017 are a framework based on international best practices.

The success of those measures is guaranteed by the effective work of the government in cooperation with international partners, the private sector and civil society organizations. It is also possible to overcome poverty with the active engagement of families and children themselves.

Now is a unique moment. First, the crisis of 2020 has necessitated decisive measures at both the national and local levels to reduce the expected drastic rise in poverty. Second, this year marks the completion of the 2016-2020 National Poverty Reduction Strategy, which opens opportunities for action that will significantly reduce poverty in Ukraine, especially for families with children.

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