Poverty and Education: The Correlation

Access to education remains one of the surest routes towards poverty alleviation, according to the the United Nations International Institute for Educational Planning.

Adequate access to education results in better family health and reduced rates of child malnutrition and mortality, and it gives women access to better work opportunities.



  • Boosts weak economies
  • Strengthens community participation in government
  • Protects children from being coerced into armed service
  • Promotes respect for rights and nonviolence
  • Promotes social cohesion and nation-building
  • Promotes an equal society
  • Challenges patterns of gender discrimination, oppression, and violence
  • Prevents environmental degradation

IRUSA’s Commitment to Education

Islamic Relief USA makes education a priority among its long-term and development-based efforts. Projects are aimed at both adults and children and include building and equipping schools, offering literacy classes, and training teachers. Many of our education projects focus specifically on impoverished women and young girls, helping them break free from poverty and ensuring stability for generations to come.

Relevant Facts and Figures on Global Education

  • 264 million children and adolescents around the world are unable to enter school. (UNICEF, 2019)
  • 57 million children are not enrolled in primary school, and more than half of those children reside in sub-Saharan Africa. (UNDP, 2019)
  • Only 50% of refugee children are enrolled in primary school. These children’s lives have already been uprooted, and their psychosocial resilience is already vulnerable. Not having an education puts their futures at even more risk. (UNICEF, 2019)
  • 617 million youth lack basic mathematics and literacy skills. (UN, 2019)
  • In certain regions around the world, children from poorer households are four times more likely to be out of school than those in wealthier households. (UNDP, 2019)