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Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims, as children’s lives are nonetheless being changed in profound ways. All children, of all ages, and in all countries, are being affected, in particular by the socio-economic impacts and, in some cases, by mitigation measures that may inadvertently do more harm than good. Moreover, the harmful effects of this pandemic will not be distributed equally. They are expected to be most damaging for children in the poorest countries, and in the poorest neighbourhoods, and for those in already disadvantaged or vulnerable situations. The potential losses that may accrue in learning for today’s young generation, and for the development of their human capital, are hard to fathom. 188 countries imposed countrywide school closures during the pandemic, affecting more than 1.6 billion children and youth. Even prior to the pandemic, however, children’s learning was in crisis, and the pandemic has only sharpened these inequities, hitting schoolchildren in poorer countries particularly hard. Globally, many schools lack the resources to invest in digital learning, and many children from poorer households do not have internet access.
Coronavirus-related service disruptions threaten to reverse the decade-long progress made for children and pregnant women in the fight against HIV.
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response