SDG-aware investors warned of poverty growth

The UN's sustainable development goals seek to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities

Investors in strategies aligned with the UN’s sustainable development goals were told on Tuesday (19 November) that child poverty is continuing to increase around the world.

Research from the OECD entitled Changing the Odds for Vulnerable Children showed how child poverty has been increasing at two-thirds of OECD countries over the past decade, with one in seven children now growing up in poverty.

The findings show that the UN’s aspiration of “no poverty” (SDG 1) is a long way off, furthermore, the target to reduce inequalities (SDG 10) also took a blow as the report concluded that the living standards of children from low income families has also declined over the past 10 years.

“The odds are stacked against vulnerable children and countries need to act now,” said Gabriela Ramos, OECD Chief of Staff and Leader of the OECD’s Inclusive Growth Initiative. “More efforts are needed and quickly to redress the balance to create a level playing field and ensure that the children who are worst off can get the better deal they deserve.

“Countries should quickly put in place child well-being strategies that prioritise the needs of vulnerable children.”

The report found significant growth in the levels of homelessness among families in England, Ireland, New Zealand and in some parts of the United States, warning that homelessness can increase anxiety, and affect educational outcomes.

Researchers underscored that children growing up in poverty have less access to quality education and healthcare and are more likely to enter the labour market at an early age, taking up low skilled jobs at a time when technological change and globalisation is squeezing opportunities.