UNICEF launch study of child poverty in MongoliaSociety
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ UNICEF and the government of Mongolia are launching the results of the first ever comprehensive deprivation analysis (MODA), which presents a multi-dimensional picture of child wellbeing and areas of persisting disparities in Mongolia.
MODA adopts a holistic definition of child well-being, concentrating on the access to various goods and services which are crucial for their survival and development. It recognizes that a child's experience of deprivations is multi-faceted and interrelated, and that such multiple, overlapping deprivations are more likely to occur, and with greater adverse effects, on more socio-economically disadvantaged groups.
UNICEF acknowledges that children experience poverty in ways that are different from adults as they do not earn income and make decisions over consumption of their households, and therefore advocates for the need of better multi-dimensional analysis of child poverty.
“Children experience poverty as an environment that is damaging to their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development. Therefore, expanding the definition of child poverty beyond traditional conceptualizations, such as low household income or low levels of consumption, is particularly important.” said UNICEF Mongolia Deputy Representative Judith Bruno.
“We expect that the findings of this analysis will inform the government’s poverty reduction policies and programs for children and help achieve the SDG #1 to end poverty in all its forms everywhere,” added Ms Bruno.
The MODA by Economic Policy Research Institute, supported by UNICEF Mongolia illustrates significant deprivations of children in all analyzed dimensions, including, health, nutrition, education, ECD, WASH, housing and child protection with significant overlap with monetary poverty. It is devastating that a substantial proportion of children experience several deprivations simultaneously, implying a more coordinated and integrated government efforts and policies for children.
The findings show that:
- Around two third of children aged under 5 years in Mongolia suffer from at least 3 deprivations at the same time
- Household monetary poverty status is a significant factor that affects deprivation, with children more likely to have multiple deprivations if they are living in the poorest households. For instance, around 7 out of 10 children of the poorest households of the same age experience either 4 or 5 deprivations respectively
- 15.7% of children age 0-23 months living second-poorest households experience 5 deprivations simultaneously.
Pure monetary policies aiming to raise household incomes in order to reduce income poverty of children would exclude a significant proportion of children who may not be considered monetary poor, but are nevertheless lacking essential resources for their development and contribution to human capital. Thus, knowledge of and insight into the characteristic of the poor and deprived children help the government in designing policies and programs that address both monetary and multidimensional child poverty.