Effects of Poverty on Child Development

What Are the Effects of Poverty on Society and the Community as a Whole?

The effects of poverty on society are far reaching. Poverty impacts 659 million people worldwide in nearly every country on earth.[1] These people live in both large cities and rural communities. No matter the size of the community, poverty negatively impacts society.

Poverty impacts a community in a variety of ways

Poverty impacts education. When parents are not educated, they are less likely to stress the importance of education for their children. In these situations, it quickly becomes the norm not to send children to school. In countries with severe poverty, children are used to fetch water, earn money through child labor, help around the house or simply left to roam the streets. Poverty also impacts child development due to malnutrition or lack of resources.[2]

Poverty impacts the economy. Over time, poverty results in several generations of people who are uneducated or under-educated, unhealthy due to malnutrition and often unable to be productive members of their community. Around the world, many people work long, hard days in unskilled labor positions that never bring in enough money to meet their needs. They want very much to provide for their families but simply cannot reach that next step of employment. A country’s economic health is dependent on skilled labor to build profitable businesses and a solid economy.

Severe poverty leads to a lack of clean water access in a community.[3] In some areas with severe poverty, there are no wells, and the only water source may be a distant, polluted pond. This causes health problems due to waterborne illnesses.

Severe poverty leads to lack of sanitation facilities. In communities across South Asia and Africa, open defecation is still practiced due to a lack of toilets. This impacts a community’s health and wellness.

GFA World has been working in communities with severe poverty since 1979. Often, we serve in places where no one else is serving. We support national missionaries who are serving as the hands and feet of Jesus and bringing hope to people who have never experienced the love of God. Showing the love of Christ in word and deed, we provide access to clean water, sanitation facilities, educational tutoring, adult literacy classes, child sponsorship, basic health screening, income-generating gifts and more. This help improves entire villages! The people learn how to take pride in their neighborhood and help one another through difficult times. Will you join us in bringing hope to the communities that need it most?

Learn more about the effects of poverty on child development

[1] Baah, Samuel Kofi Tetteh et al. “March 2023 global poverty update from the World Bank: the challenge of estimating poverty in the pandemic.” World Bank. March 29, 2023. https://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/march-2023-global-poverty-update-world-bank-challenge-estimating-poverty-pandemic.
[2] “How Does Poverty Impact Child Development.” ChildFund Australia. September 7, 2019. https://www.childfund.org.au/stories/how-does-poverty-impact-child-development/.
[3] “Water and Poverty: How Access to Safe Water Reduces Poverty.” Lifewater International. November 2, 2018. https://lifewater.org/blog/water-poverty/.