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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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The COVID-19 consequences on child labour in agrifood systems

This paper provides insights and evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and related policy responses to curb its spread influence the risk of child labour in agriculture through different pathways.It draws on case studies from seven countries covering different production systems: Côte d’Ivoire (cocoa), Ethiopia (cattle keeping and farming), (Lebanon (horticulture and greenhouse farms), the Philippines (municipal fisheries), and Viet Nam (crop farming, livestock, and citrus fruit chains). Based on these evidence, the document provides concluding reflections and recommendations on priority areas regarding knowledge generation and data collection, policy responses (social protection, education), and household- and community-level responses.

COVID-19 pandemic impacts on Asia and the Pacific

A. Elbehri; T. Temel; F. Burcu Ceylan (et al.)

The COVID-19 health crisis has turned into a global economic crisis, putting at risk the health, jobs and incomes of millions of people across the world. The pandemic is becoming persistent and seemingly slow to eradicate, with medium and long-term consequences affecting the trajectories of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets across the countries. Better understanding of the implications of COVID-19 containment these measures for food systems, food insecurity and malnutrition is vital to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a food crisis and to rebuilt resilient food systems. The regional review presented in this report is broad-based but provisional since we are still dealing with an active pandemic having just moved past the fourth wave (dominated by Delta variant) and now facing a new variant, Omicron (whose real impact is still under review). As we approach 2022, the world is learning to live with COVID-19 and its variants for longer than initially believed. So the numbers related to COVID-19 infections and vaccination rates are only provisional and reflect the situation as of the time of writing.
National agrifood systems and COVID-19 in Iraq: effects, policy responses and long-term implications

This report is part of a series of country profiles that describe: (i) policy measures enacted by the government of Iraq to contain the spread of the virus; (ii) policies and measures to stabilize the functioning of agri-food systems; (iii) potential effects of policies on agri-food systems and vulnerable groups. Finally, the profiles also assess longer-term options for agri-food system policies and investments to make them more resilient.

Forest communities in the face of COVID-19 crisis

J. Covey; A. Bolin

COVID-19 continues to have severe impacts on the societies, economies and environment of forest communities. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on forest communities have been shaped by pre-existing social, economic en environmental vulnerabilities. Despite existing vulnerabilities, forest communities have shown a great deal of resilience. Forest communities have not been passive in the face of these significant impacts. Key responses have included the use of informal and formal social protection programmes. Reflecting on past crisis and building on the initial COVID-19 responses found in the case studies and lessons from producer organisations, this working paper identifies seven key pathways and 14 strategic actions for forest communities to recover and building back better from COVID-19.
Leveraging COVID-19 recovery strategies to build climate-smart agrifood systems in developing countries

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the stability of agrifood systems and the welfare of the rural households that are actively engaged in the different components of these systems, particularly in developing countries. Efforts are underway to redress the negative impacts of the pandemic through investments to ‘build back better’. These efforts represent an enormous opportunity to make significant and lasting contribution to the longer-term resilience and sustainability of agrifood systems in the context of climate change.The objective of this report is to provide an overview of the current opportunities for harnessing short-term response and recovery efforts to address longer-term impacts on resilience and sustainability. The analysis focuses on the role of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in recovery strategies and outlines concrete policy objectives that can be implemented by national governments and their development partners. The report is structured in two parts. The first part outlines the nature of the challenges presented by climate change and COVID-19, their interrelationships, and the potential role CSA can play in addressing these interrelated challenges. The second part of the report outlines a set of policy options for enabling post-pandemic recovery efforts to contribute to longer-term resilience of agrifood systems through investments in CSA and associated enabling conditions.

A global review of COVID-19 policy and programmatic responses to child labour in agrifood systems

This review aims to look into the consequences of (1) the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the pandemic and (2) the policies and programmatic responses to mitigate socio-economic consequences of the pandemic and how they have potentially interacted with child labour drivers, especially in agrifood systems. Thus, this review aims to document and spell out how policy and programmatic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular social protection measures, have the potential to prevent or contain an increase of child labour in agriculture at large.

The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality and food security in the Arab region with a focus on the Sudan and Iraq
This rapid gender analysis (RGA) explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and food security in the Arab region. It is a joint collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and CARE International (CARE). This collaboration recognizes the need to expand the evidence base on gender-differentiated impacts of crises for informed recovery and response planning, while highlighting the imperative of collecting sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD) more consistently.
The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2021

This year’s The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) summarizes the first global assessment of food insecurity and malnutrition for 2020 and offers some indication of what hunger and malnutrition would look like by 2030, in a scenario further complicated by the enduring effects of the pandemic. Nearly one-tenth of the world population – up to 811 million people went hungry in 2020. After remaining virtually unchanged for five years, world hunger increased last year. Further, it is projected that around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, 30 million more people than in a scenario in which the pandemic had not occurred, due to lasting effects of COVID-19 on global food security. The setback makes the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for zero hunger and ending all forms of malnutrition more challenging. The report indicates that progress has been made for some forms of malnutrition, but the world is not on track to achieve any global nutrition targets by 2030. Globally, 44 percent of infants under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed in 2019 – up from 37 percent in 2012 but the practice varies considerably among regions. Child malnutrition still persists at an alarming rate –an estimated 149 million children were stunted, 45 million were wasted and 39 million were overweight in 2020. The report presents new projections of potential additional cases of child stunting and wasting due to COVID-19. Based on a conservative scenario, it is projected that an additional 22 million children in low- and middle-income countries will be stunted, an additional 40 million will be wasted between 2020 and 2030 due to the pandemic. Comprehensive and urgent efforts are required to address the detrimental effects of the pandemic and achieve the 2030 global targets.

Asia and the Pacific regional overview of food security and nutrition 2020: maternal and child diets at the heart of improving nutrition
This is the third annual report jointly written by United Nations agencies on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 2 – Zero Hunger) and the World Health Assembly 2030 targets for nutrition in the Asia and Pacific region. The first part of this report tracks progress on key SDG 2 indicators and World Health Assembly targets up to 2019. The second part of the report focuses on challenges and possible solutions to improve maternal and child diets in the Asia and Pacific region.
Social protection and child labour: eliminating child labour in agriculture with social protection
COVID-19 and its direct and indirect economic impacts particularly affect rural populations, leading to an increase in hunger and poverty. To cope with this situation, rural households may likely resort to using child labour among other negative coping strategies, facilitated by the closure of schools in response to the spread of the virus. The prevalence of child labour remains high in agricultural sub-sectors. Because social protection coverage remains limited and cash payments and other types of support to subsistence farmers, forest communities, fisherfolk and artisanal fishers are often scarce or irregular, FAO encourages the expansion of social protection to rural areas as an effective strategy for eliminating child labour. This information note aims at outlining what are child labour and social protection, how social protection can significantly contribute to eliminating child labour in agriculture, and what are FAO’s planned efforts to leverage on social protection interventions to generate knowledge and increase impact at country level on child labour elimination. 
Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security in Africa
In addition to its drastic impact to human health globally, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the economies globally and notably in Africa. Countries on the continent have taken various measures to try and contain the spread of COVID-19 such as lockdowns, curfews, closure of borders and other movement restrictions including quarantines and roadblocks, closure of markets, fear of animals, among others. Early indications suggest that the impact on agriculture and food security and levels of poverty and malnutrition will be significant if urgent actions are not taken. Although the economic impacts of COVID-19 will be more significant than the SARS epidemic, the H1N1 flu epidemic and the Ebola epidemic, COVID-19 impact on economic well-being will be observed through two distinct but similar channels. First are the direct and indirect effects of the sickness and mortality, which will lead to an increase in health care costs and loss of economic activity of infected individuals during their illness. Second, are the behavioral effects resulting from people’s fear of contagion and measures taken by governments to control the spread of the infection. The impacts of essential containment/isolation and distancing measures on social and economic well-being are yet to be realized and could have tremendous effects, notably among the most vulnerable.
Migrant workers and remittances in the context of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa

African migrants stimulate economic growth and development in areas of destination, transit and origin through their labour, skills transfer, consumption and investments. Their remittances also make significant contributions to food security, human capital, rural development and overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in areas of origin. The impact of COVID-19 affects migrant workers disproportionally. Often precarious working conditions and overcrowded living and transport arrangements increase their vulnerability to contagion and loss of employment, threatening their health and livelihoods. Those working under informal arrangements, commonly in the agriculture sector, are largely excluded from accessing real-time reliable information, social protection, healthcare and government response measures.

FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity hotspots

This FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity hotspots report highlights countries which are at risk of significant food security deterioration and in particular acute hunger and associated malnutrition. The analysis takes into account all major drivers of food insecurity, with a particular focus on the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a forward-looking perspective, outlining the likely evolution of impacts over the next 6 or so months aiming to inform urgent action to safeguard food security of the most vulnerable communities in these locations. The report is divided into three sections. It firstly includes an overview of the main pathways of secondary impacts of COVID-19 on food security, nutrition, and agriculture. This is followed by regional overviews and a focus on hotspot countries. The last section lists strategic recommendations which should be urgently implemented to avoid a large scale deterioration of acute food insecurity.

The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2020

Updates for many countries have made it possible to estimate hunger in the world with greater accuracy this year. In particular, newly accessible data enabled the revision of the entire series of undernourishment estimates for China back to 2000, resulting in a substantial downward shift of the series of the number of undernourished in the world. Nevertheless, the revision confirms the trend reported in past editions: the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report also shows that the burden of malnutrition in all its forms continues to be a challenge. There has been some progress for child stunting, low birthweight and exclusive breastfeeding, but at a pace that is still too slow. Childhood overweight is not improving and adult obesity is on the rise in all regions.The report complements the usual assessment of food security and nutrition with projections of what the world may look like in 2030, if trends of the last decade continue. Projections show that the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and, despite some progress, most indicators are also not on track to meet global nutrition targets. The food security and nutritional status of the most vulnerable population groups is likely to deteriorate further due to the health and socio economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enabling agricultural innovation systems to promote appropriate technologies and practices for farmers, rural youth and women during COVID-19
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will vary for different groups of rural population, with the highest impact expected to be on farmers and other vulnerable groups, especially women and youth. Targeted support is feasible only by activating a network of actors or organizations within agricultural innovation systems (AIS) and promoting customized technologies and practices suitable for location specific contexts. his brief illustrates the extensive repository of good practices and technologies provided by FAO as part of its online knowledge portals. These practices and technologies can be easily adopted to respond to the needs of the smallholders, rural youth and women affected by lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, improve their food security and create income-generating opportunities. They have been applied and tested on the ground and packaged for the benefit of various AIS actors.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.