Mzuzu — An Economist in the Department of Economic Planning and Development, Ernest Falinya has said ending child poverty is crucial for fulfilment of children's rights and the country's future.
Falinya remarked Wednesday during regional launch and Multi-stakeholder dialogue on Child Poverty in Malawi held in Mzuzu themed' Tackling multi-dimensional Child Poverty in Malawi- the next mile'.
If not comprehensively addressed, Falinya said, poverty keeps children from reaching their full potential and as a result undermines the nation's development.
He said according to the Fourth Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) of Malawi (2016/17) most children experience deprivations in their life time.
Falinya said: "An estimated 60 percent of children aged 0-17 years in Malawi are multi-dimensionally poor that includes education, health and protection, compared to 63 percent in 2012/13.
"The proportion of children who are multi- dimensionally poor is remarkably higher in rural than urban areas with 70 and 25 respectively."
He mentioned food insecurity, rising cost of living and high unemployment rate, as some of drivers of child poverty comprise.
To address the situation, he said government has employed some efforts as outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS111) that identifies education and skills development as one of the key priority areas.
He further said government is committed to improving access, equity and quality of Early Child Development (ECD), primary, secondary and tertiary education.
To effectively eliminate child poverty, Falinya reiterated that Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and development partners should complement government efforts.