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World Vision’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was the organisation’s largest ever in terms of geographic reach. Launched March 11, 2020 - the day the World Health Organization declared the pandemic - the response spanned more than 70 countries and reached more than 81 million people over its two-and-a-half-year lifespan. In order to find out how effective the response was and what lessons needed to be learned World Vision consulted with 5,700 community members, health workers and faith leaders in eight countries, as well as staff from more than 50 offices. The lessons showed what we got right and where we needed change or improve. This report also provided insights into the critical role our partners played in working with World Vision to reduce the spread of the disease, support health systems and staff, stand with children caught in the middle of the crises and advocate to protect the most vulnerable among them.
What kind of opportunities can a child expect in life? Every child deserves to be loved, cared for, free from the threat of violence, and have the ability to fulfil their potential through exercising their agency, pursuing their education, and making choices in how to earn and spend money. However, due to entrenched gender norms and societal practices, girls are particularly at risk of living in an environment where many of their God-given rights are taken away from them. Child marriage is perhaps the most blatant sign of this. Every year, approximately 12 million girls are married before they reach the age of 18, robbing them of the opportunity to reach their full potential. Child marriage can result in early pregnancy (with associated serious health risks) and social isolation, interrupt schooling, limit opportunities for career and vocational advancement, and place girls at increased risk of domestic violence.
Conflict, climate change, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and fallout from the Ukraine crisis are interacting to create new and worsen existing hunger hotspots around the world. These overlapping crises are reversing the gains many families have made to escape poverty. While global food prices are now stabilising after reaching record highs, in many countries around the world, they continue to climb. High food prices are exacerbating existing humanitarian crises and putting the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable children at risk as policymakers are slow to take necessary large-scale action.
Afghanistan is a country defined by the resilience and tenacity of its citizens – of its communities, its families, its children. Despite years of conflict, political changes, economic instability, and natural disasters, hard won development gains were realised, beginning to open doors for new opportunities and brighter futures for Afghanistan’s girls and boys. Today, those gains are at risk and the situation for children is more precarious than ever, in the face of what some class as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Political change, and the impact of this on the policies, decisions, and investments of the international aid community, coupled with the compounded effects of displacement, climate shocks, and lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, are pushing food insecurity to levels not seen before. This is challenging the ability of families to survive daily life, contributing to the rapid deterioration of the public health system, and ultimately, placing the rights and protection of Afghanistan’s children at risk. This report highlights how children and their families have been impacted by recent changes to the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. It provides an analysis of new primary research from four provinces, secondary data, and the testimonies of children and their families, who describe, in their own words, how the worsening situation in Afghanistan is impacting them.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia had one of the longest periods of school closure in the region with face-to-face education suspended for more than half of the official school calendar over the years 2020 and 2021. It led to substantial learning gaps among students of all grades. To address those, significant investments are now needed in remedial education in the country. To contribute to this effort and to collect more evidence on how to address these learning gaps, World Vision International Cambodia piloted the Catch-Up Learning project in April and May 2022. The present report presents the key learnings from this pilot project and includes recommendations on how to better respond to the COVID-19 learning crisis in Cambodia.
In 2020–2021, World Vision listened to girls’ and boys’ experiences and shined a light on the consequences of the pandemic on refugee and internally displaced children in fragile contexts. In surveying refugee and internally displaced children in 2022, World Vision again looked at the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, as well as the emerging global hunger crisis and what it means for forcibly displaced girls and boys. World Vision's 2022 World Refugee Day report presents evidence that incomes and livelihoods are still decreasing as access to food, education, health services, and protection continues to be severely affected for people who are forcibly displaced, including refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The report brings attention to those refugees that the international community have left behind due to trending news; the breaking news cycle has affected the international community's prioritisation of emerging crises over people suffering from protracted conflicts as their lives stagnate for years or even decades.
Tom Davis; Micah Branaman
The fight against COVID-19 and new variants is not over. Vaccines have demonstrated an incredible effectiveness at preventing serious COVID-19 disease. The best way now to protect and build on the progress made so far is to help as many people as possible around the world to get COVID-19 vaccinations while ensuring an ability to act quickly in response to any future developments of the pandemic. This will be critical not only to protect the children and families we serve, but also to protect the entire world against continuing waves of virus variants. Building skills in the promotion of vaccines can also help us to prepare for the next pandemic.
Over the last two years World Vision has conducted multiple research studies, surveys, assessments, and desk reviews to better understand the needs and issues facing the communities we serve. This report was prepared by World Vision’s global COVID-19 response.
“Children on the Move” is an umbrella term used to define children who are migrating or are moving due to various reasons that could include conflict, poverty, violence, natural disasters, climate change, discrimination, or lack of access to education or other services. They could be moving within or between countries and with or without their parents or other caregivers. Children affected by forced migration and displacement are one of the world’smost vulnerable populations that suffer from violations of their human rights and experience stressful, traumatic conditions that can have a severe impact on their psychosocial well-being. The root causes of displacement and forced migration are multi-faceted, ranging from political persecution to a lack of economic prospects. Many people find themselves in dramatically deteriorating realities due to the combination of COVID-19, violent conflict, and climate change. Crisis prevention, post-conflict peacebuilding, and effective trauma responses are key elements in tackling the root causes of displacement and in building peace and resilience.
To better understand the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the lives of vulnerable children in Asia and to make evidence-based policy and programming decisions, World Vision conducted a Rapid Assessment in May 2020. The assessment found that COVID-19 had grossly heightened the vulnerabilities of children in Asia. Families had been experiencing devastating loss of livelihood which led to limited access to food, essential medicines, and basic healthcare. The resulting strain on families increased incidences of physical abuse, early marriage, and the entry of children into exploitative work. The assessment recommended, for the next immediate period, that Asian governments scale-up social protection interventions, increase investment in public works programmes, target the most vulnerable through government social assistance schemes, provide support to micro, small and medium enterprises, and scale up and provide skill-building for community health workers.
The aftershocks of COVID-19 threaten to undo decades of development gains across the Pacific region. World Vision surveyed 752 households in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu between July and December 2020 to gather first-hand accounts of the impacts of COVID-19 and its aftershocks on communities, families and their children. The findings highlight the human cost of the severe economic recession that has befallen the broader Pacific region since the pandemic, laying bare the region’s vulnerability to future shocks, stresses, and uncertainties.
Kate Shaw; Tendai Chigavazira; Tamara Tutnjevic
How COVID-19's impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most experts estimated child marriage would continue for many more decades. Because the pandemic has increased poverty levels and hunger, and decreased access to education, the risk of girls becoming child brides is also increasing. This report pairs data from World Vision’s Youth Healthy Behaviour Survey with global literature to better understand the conditions which enable child marriage and how these conditions may be changing because of the global pandemic. The report analyzes 14,964 observations from children and youth aged 12 to 18 from World Vision programming sites in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe. Case studies also provide insights into the lives of girls within these communities.
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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