Africa's Enduring Struggle Against Poverty

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Posted on 10/4/2013


Despite economic growth, millions of African families remain mired in poverty.
Despite economic growth, millions of African families remain mired in poverty.

ChildFund works in several African nations to provide children in need and their families with the essentials they need to survive. Although measurable gains have been made in the fight against poverty across Africa over the past 30 years, a new report published by researchers at Michigan State University notes that there is much more work to do.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Evaluating the true impact of international aid and the success of domestic poverty reduction programs can be challenging. In developing nations, accurate information on how well countries are performing in helping their populations emerge from generational poverty can be scarce. Afrobarometer, a nonpartisan study conducted by researchers at Michigan State and African partners, indicates that despite reports of economic growth and substantial gains in poverty reduction, millions of families still lack the essentials they need, such as nutritious food, clean water and access to health care services.

"The survey results show there is a disconnect between reported growth and the persistence — in both frequency and severity — of poverty among ordinary citizens," says Carolyn Logan, assistant professor of political science at Michigan State and deputy director of the survey. "It's evident that African governments need to focus as much attention on poverty reduction efforts as they are on growing their economies."

Unmet Needs

Key findings of the Afrobarometer suggest that 22 percent of Africans lack access to clean water, 20 percent go without crucial health care, and 17 percent frequently experience hunger. These problems are particularly prevalent in the eastern and western parts of Africa. In addition, these findings are in sharp contrast to reports that Africa's overall gross domestic product increased by 4.8 percent between 2002 and 2011, indicating there are wide disparities between Africa's economic growth and the number of families mired in poverty across the continent.

ChildFund's child sponsorship program helps thousands of children across Africa. In communities where hunger, preventable diseases and poor sanitation are prevalent, child sponsorship brings hope to families living in poverty. To help us make a difference, please consider sponsoring a child today. Just $28 per month will ensure that a boy or girl living in poverty will receive the essentials he or she needs, including nutritious food, potentially life-saving health care and clean drinking water. We could not help as many children without your generosity and support, so please help ChildFund by becoming a child sponsor today.