Fifteen years ago, Poverty Awareness Month evolved out of recognition by Congress of the rising rate of poverty in the United States. The goal was to recognize the contributions of those who provide support and services to those in need and to commit all people in the US, including all levels of government, to ending poverty.
According to the latest US Census data, the poverty rate based on income was 11.5% or about 37.9 million people. Over 9 million of these are children. The United States is not along. Among some of the world’s wealthiest nations, 69 million children live in poverty. When assessed beyond income, across the world, about 1 billion children are "multidimensionally" poor, meaning they lack basic necessities such as food, housing, sanitation, health care, and education they need to survive and thrive.
Nelson Mandela asserted, “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
For more information about child poverty please see these books from our collection.