INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON THE ERADICATION OF POVERTY
15 - 16 November 2006, United Nations, New York

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SESSION 2: ELIMINATING CHILD POVERTY AND BREAKING THE
INTERGENERATIONAL CYCLE OF DISADVANTAGE

WEDNESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2006 
15:00-16:30, Conference Room 2

Moderator: Ms Elizabeth Gibbons, Chief, Global Policy, Division of Policy and Planning, UNICEF
Prof. Peter Townsend, Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research
Prof. David Gordon, University of Bristol and Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research
Ms. Jo Maher, HelpAge International
Prof. Michael Samson, Economic Policy Research Institute, Cape Town

Session organized by UNICEF and HelpAge

Poverty is currently the world’s largest source of harm; it causes more death, disease, suffering and misery than any other social phenomenon.  Each year, more than 10 million young children die – mainly from preventable causes which, due to poverty, go untreated. About a half million children under 14 die each year due to AIDS, though prevention and treatment should protect both them and their parents.  Across the developing world, over a billion children – one in two – experience some form of severe material deprivation. The long list of vulnerable children includes almost all children who have been orphaned by war or disease.  The poverty that grips these children today has the potential to impact the lives of generations to come.

There is no need, and no excuse, for any child in the 21st century, anywhere, to starve, go without clean drinking water, toilets or access to basic health care and education, or to live in institutions. Globally, new opportunities are emerging from innovative approaches to breaking the poverty cycle, preventing deprivations and securing access to services and supports for children and their families, including elderly care-givers.

The presentations in this Session will highlight the scale and dimensions of poverty children experience in the developing world; explain the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage; explore the links between economic growth, poverty reduction, social protection and improved access to services for girls and boys; and review a number of innovative approaches to break the poverty cycle even in ‘poor’ and ‘low capacity’ country environments.