CHILD POVERTY IN ANGOLA
Pinilla Roncancio, Monica Viviana; Silva, Raquel (2014). 'CHILD POVERTY IN ANGOLA' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.
Child poverty is considered to be an obstacle to survival and development of children around the world. Indeed, it is a distortion for the development of a country and the analysis of this situation becomes vital for the human, social and economic development of a country. However, it has only became part of national and international discussions after the early two thousands (Gordon et al., 2003) and still the research of child poverty is scarce in developing countries, such as Angola.
Indirect measures of poverty, such as 1 dollar per day, do not capture the extra needs of children in different ages and underestimate the magnitude of poverty in a country. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), 2005) poverty has a negative effect in the levels of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual development of a child. Those effects usually are ignored in basic measures of poverty and do not consider the negative consequences that a lack of opportunities, resources or extra needs have in a child.
Angola presents high levels of multidimensional and income poverty (MPI=0.452; $1.25 a day=54.3%; $2.00 a day= 70.2%). Child mortality, nutrition and school attendance contribute to the national multidimensional poverty by 36.2%, value that increase to 39.6% in urban areas (Oxford Poverty and Human Initiative (OPHI), 2011)
In both urban and rural Angola, children are forced to work from a very young age as land workers, shepherds, street sellers and housemaids to help their families' survival. In addition, the number of female children involved in prostitution has growth (República de Angola, 2000). These characteristics make that Angola become an interesting case for the study of child poverty in rural and urban areas.
This paper aims to analyse the levels of standard of living and multidimensional poverty of children in Angola and the perceptions of poverty and child poverty that urban households have in urban Angola. A mix methods study was designed, the first part used the Integrated Survey on the Well-being of the population (IBEP) 2008-2009 to analyse the levels of deprivation and multidimensional poverty of households with children of 18 years old or younger. In the second part, a thematic analysis of 20 semi structured interviews was conducted. The interviews were done in Lubango urban Angola to 10 children (10 to 15 years old) and 10 with the head of their household.
The partial results show that using seven of the eight criteria of severe deprivation proposed by Gordon et al. (2003), 99% of children aged between 3 to 17 were deprived in information; 47.8% of children 18 or younger were deprived in sanitation and 37.7% were deprived in access to water. Around 32% of children younger than 18 years were deprived in shelter. Health and education were the dimensions with lower levels of deprivation (around 13%). In addition, levels of deprivation in all the dimensions are higher for children living in rural areas.
The data collected through interviewing points out that children do not have parental support to go to school (parents do not register their children or do not encourage them to pursuit their studies) and that children agree and are happy to work, in order to be able to access personal goods (e.g. clothes) and food for the family. However, all of them would like to go or return to school. Some children also describe situations of domestic violence, caused by alcohol consumption by the parents. In general, children described their house as poor, not having a bathroom inside the house or beds, having to sleep all the children in the same room, on a mattress on the floor. Regarding food is not something described as stable, but depending on the day. The neighbourhoods are described as very big and nice, but with no water and electricity.
This is a work in process research, whose main results will provide evidence of the levels and perspectives of child poverty in Angola.