WASHINGTON - The poverty rate is on the rise among households with children in the developing world, a report released today said.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said families with children have replaced pensioners as the group most likely to be living in poverty.
The OECD report said the percentage of children worldwide living in economically poor homes rose to 12.7 percent in the last decade even though birth and marriage rates have declined. One in five children, 20 percent, in the United States, Mexico, Israel and Poland are considered to be living in poverty.
The group said in a written statement the findings are a warning to governments that their social safety nets need to take the needs of younger families into account.
"Family benefits need to be well designed to maintain work incentives, but they (also) need to be effective in protecting the most vulnerable, otherwise we risk creating high, long-term social costs for future generations," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Among the recommendations for governments were fine-tuning family leave policies, expanding child care services and improving education.