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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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A neglected tragedy: The global burden of stillbirths 2020

There is a high risk that the COVID-19 pandemic may reverse decades-long progress on reducing child mortality and affect the number of stillbirths. This new release of the first-ever joint stillbirth estimates by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) presents the number of babies that are stillborn every year due to pregnancy and birth-related complications, the absence of health workers and basic services. The issue has become an essential part of global child survival initiatives. UNICEF calls on international organizations, governments and partners for increased and strong political will, sound policies and targeted investment along the continuum of care for every mother and child.

Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 90 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Tags: child mortality
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Protect the progress: rise, refocus, recover
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Since the Every Woman Every Child movement was launched 10 years ago, there has been remarkable progress in improving the health of the world’s women, children, and adolescents, including reducing maternal and child mortality and improving child nutrition and education. However, conflict, climate instability, and the COVID-19 pandemic are putting all children and adolescents at risk . In particular, the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating inequities, with reported disruptions in essential health interventions disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable women and children.
This report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how fundamental good data are across sectors; that greater investments are needed to build resilient systems to provide high-quality and integrated services consistently; and COVID-19 recovery efforts  require multilateral action and continued investment in development.
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Accelerating results for children with technology and digital innovation
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
With the global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, digital development has become an integral component of UNICEF’s work as national programmes shifted to distance and remote delivery means.

This report highlights examples of country-level COVID-19 response initiatives employing digital innovation and T4D approaches, in support of both its humanitarian action and development programmes. It further demonstrates how the scale-up of T4D’s strategic integration in programming and digital innovations has allowed UNICEF to support programme partners in closing gaps to meet children’s needs, often under complex environments, and in line with existing national systems. These initiatives span UNICEF programmes worldwide and help address children’s health, nutrition, education, protection, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and inclusion. 
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Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) Report 2020
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organization, The World Bank
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication

There have been dramatic reductions in child and youth mortality over the last 29 years. Globally, under-five mortality has dropped by 59% since 1990—from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births then to 38 deaths in 2019. Initial evidence suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on direct mortality for children and youth may be small, but indirect effects can be severe. Many life-saving services have already been disrupted by COVID-19. 

Levels and trends in child mortality
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
The progress in reducing child mortality around the world has been remarkable. Under-five mortality rates have declined by almost 60 per cent since 1990, and as a result millions more children survive to adolescence today than they did three decades ago. The impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, threatens years of improvement in child and adolescent survival through the interruption of essential health services. Even before the coronavirus captured the world’s attention, it was clear that if survival targets were to be met, resources and policy would need to be geared towards accelerating progress and not just maintaining it.
Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: special focus on COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affect up to 1.6 billion children and present an unprecedented risk to their education and well-being. WHO and UNICEF guidelines on infection prevention in schools identify a range of measures that need to be in place for schools to reopen and operate safely, including regular hand-washing with soap and water, daily disinfection and basic drinking water and sanitation services.
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Protecting children from violence in the time of COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication
This UNICEF publication, Protecting Children from Violence in the Time of COVID-19: Disruptions in prevention and response services, documents what has happened to such services across the world:
-1.8 billion children live in the 104 countries where violence prevention and response services have been disrupted due to COVID-19.
-Case management and home visits for children and women at risk of abuse are among the most commonly disrupted services.
-Around two thirds of countries with disruptions reported that at least one type of service had been severely affected; however, two thirds of countries reported that mitigating measures had been put into place.
In times of crisis, governments should prioritize maintaining or adapting critical prevention and response services to protect children from violence, including designating social service workers as essential and ensuring they are protected, strengthening child helplines, and making positive parenting resources available.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 20 | Topics: Child Protection | Tags: violence against children | Publisher: *UNICEF
Dashboard on government responses to COVID-19 and the affected populations
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication
Governments around the world have implemented a number of different measures in response to COVID-19 outbreaks. These include measures that aim to contain the spread of the virus (such as movement restrictions and border closings), measures to mitigate the economic consequences (such as income support), as well as measures related to the health system (such as testing policies and contact tracing). Billions of people are affected by these measures. Although children have been largely spared the direct health effects of COVID-19, the indirect impacts – including enormous socioeconomic challenges – are potentially catastrophic for children. For migrant and displaced children, the effects can be graver still.
COVID-19: Are children able to continue learning during school closures?
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication

In response to the unprecedented educational challenges created by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 90 per cent of countries have implemented some form of remote learning policy. This factsheet estimates the potential reach of digital and broadcast remote learning responses, finding that at least 463 million students around the globe remain cut off from education, mainly due to a lack of remote learning policies or lack of equipment needed for learning at home. This data primarily stems from the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank Survey on National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures (June-July 2020), as well as household microdata from sources like Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

Children, HIV and AIDS, how will progress be impacted by COVID-19?
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: July 2020 UNICEF Publication

Coronavirus-related service disruptions threaten to reverse the decade-long progress made for children and pregnant women in the fight against HIV.

Immunization coverage: are we losing ground?
Institution: World Health Organisation, *UNICEF
Published: July 2020 UNICEF Publication
Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions to date, saving an estimated 2 to 3 million lives each year. As a direct result of immunization, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio, and deaths from measles – a major child killer – have declined by 73 per cent worldwide between 2000 and 2018, saving an estimated 23.2 million children’s lives. The emergence of COVID-19, however, threatens to reverse this progress by severely limiting access to life-saving vaccines.
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Yemen 5 years on: Children, Conflict and COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Millions of children in Yemen could be pushed to ‘the brink of starvation’ due to huge shortfalls in humanitarian aid funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic – according to a new UNICEF report marking more than five years since conflict escalated in the country. Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19 warns that as Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably.
Children wait for a teacher in a classroom at Treichville Regional School, in the city of Abidjan. Although the school reopened after being closed for many years due to armed conflict, most teachers remain absent. (2011)
Framework for reopening schools
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic present an unprecedented risk to children’s education, protection and well-being. Schools do much more than teach children how to read, write and count. They also provide nutrition, health and hygiene services; mental health and psychosocial support; and dramatically reduce the risk of violence, early pregnancy and more. And it’s the most vulnerable children who are the hardest hit by school closures, and we know from previous crises that the longer they are out of school, the less likely they are to return.When deciding whether to reopen schools, authorities should look at the benefits and risks across education, public health and socio-economic factors, in the local context, using the best available evidence. This policy brief aims to inform the decision-making process regarding school reopening, support national preparations and guide the implementation process, as part of overall public health and education planning processes. The guidelines outline six key priorities to assess the readiness of those schools and inform planning.
Reshmi Prabhu (12) in a cotton field in Karnatarka, India. She previously worked in the fields before being enrolled in school for the first time this year. 
COVID-19 and Child Labour: A time of crisis, a time to act
Institution: *UNICEF, International Labour Organization
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Recent years have seen significant progress in the fight against child labour. The current COVID-19 pandemic, however, can potentially reverse the positive trends observed in several countries and further aggravate the problem in regions where child labour has been more resistant to policy and programme measures.
The level of global economic integration and the current crisis are likely to have a large and possibly lasting worldwide adverse socio-economic and financial impact. The pandemic is increasing economic insecurity causing disruptions in supply chains, falling commodity prices, in particular oil, and halting the manufacturing industry. The financial markets have been particularly affected, tightening liquidity conditions in many countries and creating unprecedented outflows of capital in many economies.
The paper discusses the main channels through which the current pandemic can influence child labour, including fall in living standards; deteriorating employment opportunities; rise in informality; reduction in remittances and migration; contraction of trade and foreign direct investment; temporary school closures; health shocks; pressure on public budgets and international aid flows.
Soro Sali, a 39 years old woman is practicing Kangaroo, at the Regional Hospital of Korhogo, in the North of Côte d'Ivoire.
Data to inform the COVID-19 response
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Timely, disaggregated, and quality data on the situation of children can help identify where the most vulnerable live so that interventions to counteract the potential adverse effects of COVID-19 can be implemented to reach those most in need. UNICEF’s call to protect children, especially the most marginalized, is essential now more than ever and our global databases can inform that response by painting a picture of children around the world. In the face of this unprecedented crisis, where are children especially vulnerable to physical punishment? Are sufficient hygiene facilities available in schools? And is healthcare accessible for children with acute respiratory symptoms? How will the most vulnerable children, such as those living on the street or in refugee camps fare? Data like these can provide guidance for UNICEF and country programmes so that our efforts to mitigate and overcome the effects of the pandemic can be measured.
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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.