World Children's Day

Childhood's End

Despite rising global prosperity, every fifth child in the world lives in abject poverty. How do we tackle this challenge?

‘The child that is hungry must be fed; the child that is sick must be nursed; the child that is backward must be helped; the delinquent child must be reclaimed; and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored.’

So run the words of the original Declaration of the Rights of the Child drafted back in 1924. The modern version, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, has been signed by all eligible countries apart from the United States.

Yet, every fifth child in the world lives in abject poverty.

In the week of the World Children’s Day, it’s time to acknowledge that children continue to suffer from widespread poverty almost a century after the Declaration was drafted and realize just how daunting the task is of alleviating this problem. 

Living in the shadows

Extreme poverty, measured at $1.90 or below per person per day, overwhelmingly affects children. According to the UNICEF and the World Bank, over 387 million children live in extremely poor households – more than half of the total number of people in extreme poverty.

Add to that the rising instances of conflict and natural disasters and a gloomy picture emerges. In January this year, UNICEF said around “48 million children across 51 countries are caught up in war zones, natural disasters and other dire emergencies that continue to deepen in complexity, bringing new waves of violence, displacement and disruption into their lives”. In the aftermath, many suffer from diseases and emotional and mental problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Adequate healthcare, education and nutrition are necessary to protect this population group, which will eventually shape our future.

allianz children's day

Collective responsibility

Just like every human is responsible for caring for our young, every company also has the responsibility of building the society it operates in. Mindful of its role, Allianz has extended its partnership with SOS Children’s Villages International by another three years.

Since the partnership began in 2015, Allianz SE – the group’s holding company – has contributed about 3 million euros to SOS Children’s Villages, excluding contributions from the group’s local entities.

World Run, the flagship event of this partnership, raised 300,000 euros this year, extending the success of the previous years. During the 90-day run, nearly 9,600 participants across 123 countries ran a total of more than 1 million kilometers.

The funds raised will be used to support emergency preparedness programs in five SOS Children’s Villages. While the Villages in Chad, Italy and Brazil are dealing with humanitarian crises, those in Sri Lanka and the U.S. state of Florida are under environmental threat.

Besides monetary support, Allianz is offering its risk management expertise to help turn SOS Children’s Villages into safe ports of call for local communities in the event of a catastrophe.

Watch video: SOS Children's Villages in Florida

Charity begins at home

Allianz has several other ongoing initiatives for child and youth development. The ‘Social Innovation Fund’ – one of the initiatives under the company’s ‘Encouraging Future Generations Program’ – empowers the group’s local entities to support social development projects in their region.

This year, five projects and four SOS Children’s Villages partnerships were selected. These range from supporting a digital center for children of low-income households in Brazil to a project introducing organic aquaculture as part of an entrepreneurship program for youth in one of the poorest villages in east Java, Indonesia. Other supported projects are in Argentina, Madagascar, Poland and Portugal, dealing with the issue of youth employability.

About Allianz

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 88 million retail and corporate customers. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing over 650 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers while our asset managers Allianz Global Investors and PIMCO manage an additional 1.4 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we hold the leading position for insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2017, over 140,000 employees in more than 70 countries achieved total revenue of 126 billion euros and an operating profit of 11 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

 

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Press contacts

Anja Rechenberg
Allianz SE

Further information

Childhood's End

In the week of the World Children’s Day, it’s time to acknowledge that children continue to suffer from widespread poverty almost a century after the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was drafted. What is Allianz's contribution to alleviating this problem?

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