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The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage was designed as a 15-year programme (2016-2030) to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 5.3, which aims to eliminate all harmful practices, including child marriage. The COVID-19 pandemic hit at the very beginning of Phase II (2020-2023) of the Global Programme, and we know that it profoundly affected the everyday lives of girls, including their physical and mental health, education, and the economic circumstances of their families and communities. Up to 10 million more girls are estimated to becoming child brides by 2030, as a result of the pandemic. UNFPA and UNICEF Evaluation Offices conducted a joint assessment of the Global Programme adaptations to the COVID-19 crisis in 2021.
In 2020, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and Women Enabled International (WEI), alongside the U.N Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and eight local and regional organisations working to advance rights for persons with disabilities, partnered to undertake a global study of the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls with disabilities, particularly as related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and their right to be free from gender-based violence (GBV). Through virtual consultations with and written survey responses from over 300 women, girls, men, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities, their advocates, and their support persons from around the world, we have learned that in almost all contexts—Global North and Global South, in places hit hard by CO V I D -19 and others with a much lower rate of infection—women and girls with disabilities have been left behind. They have struggled to meet their basic needs, to access needed health services including those needed both because of their gender and disability, and have faced disproportionate risks of violence.
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