The Hips Don't Lie singer, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), joined the U.N.'s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for an event at the organisation's Big Apple base addressing scientific research on the effect deprivation has on youngsters' brains.

During the event Shakira, who runs an education charity called the Barefoot Foundation, urged world leaders to do more to tackle childhood poverty.

She declared, "More than 100 million children are out of school and 159 million boys and girls under five are physically and cognitively stunted due to a lack of care and proper nutrition. Every year that passes without us making significant investment in early childhood development and initiatives that address these issues, millions of kids will be born into the same cycle of poverty and lack of opportunity.

"UNICEF and I have joined forces and are here today because investing early in children is an urgent matter and there isn't another moment to lose."