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Over the past three years, children have suffered immensely from the health and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which threatened their rights to survive, thrive, learn and be protected. Many health systems were unable to respond adequately to the increased demand for health care due to the pandemic, nor could they maintain routine health services. With limited health financing, it is critical that we maximise the impact of the investments in the Pandemic Fund. The new fund must focus on the areas which both; strengthen primary health care to boost resilience for health shocks and build core preparedness capacities. By doing so we will make gains in child survival and improve health outcomes for all women, children and adolescents. It is therefore essential that interventions must be equitable, inclusive, integrated and that all stakeholders play an equal part in their design.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fragilities in the global health architecture that contributed to countries being ill-equipped to effectively respond to a global health emergency, which in turn led to devastating consequences for children’s access to essential health services. Increased political awareness and commitment to pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR) efforts offer a pivotal opportunity to make gains in child survival through resilient health systems that are anchored in a primary health care and rights-based approach. Save the Children and UNICEF UK new policy briefing presents a series of measures for the WHO Pandemic Accord as well as recommendations for the broader health emergency PPR architecture.
Orzala Nemat; Vidya Diwakar; Ihsanullah Ghafoori (et al.)
COVID-19’s rapid spread poses particular challenges for vulnerable populations, especially migrants and displaced (M&D) children. It is apparent that certain characteristics of displaced populations such as higher risk of contagion, high mobility, and being difficult to reach, present suitable conditions for a rapid outbreak of COVID-19 – at huge risk to M&D children and to the surrounding communities. It is clear that the cost of not prioritising M&D populations is likely to be catastrophic. Save the Children’s Programme Framework explicitly recognises the acute vulnerability of migrant and displaced communities and suggests a number of possible programmatic interventions. This paper, developed by the TWG on Protecting the Rights of M&D Children, the MDI and Geneva Advocacy office, aims to provide further complementary analysis, suggested text for proposal and project design, and technical guidance to SC colleagues.
This research by Save the Children India highlights the disproportionate impact of India’s Covid-19 crisis on girls, with lockdowns and school closures exacerbating existing gender inequalities in the country and hindering girls’ access to health, education, and play. The report, The World of India’s Girls, reveals that only a third (33%) of girls in India attended online classes during lockdown, while two thirds (68%) struggled to access health and nutrition services. A further 80% were unable to access sanitary items due to limited government supplies, lack of money and shop closures. This study was conducted in four states – Delhi, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Telangana, representing the four geographical zones (East, West, North and South) and included a survey, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews.
Children make up 50% of those affected in humanitarian crises and are disproportionately impacted by conflict and crisis. Throughout 2020 and 2021, COVID-19, conflict and climate change have been impacting children at unprecedented scale, putting them at risk and driving displacement, poverty and violence. Whilst funding for child protection is increasing, child protection consistently remains one of the most underfunded sectors in humanitarian action and funds not meeting increasing needs. Closing this gap will require collective action to change the way we think about children’s protection and its centrality to crisis response. This report highlights key areas associated with funding for child protection in humanitarian crises, including both cluster and refugee responses in 2020. A snapshot is also given for 2021 with data available as of October 2021
Samira Abou Alfa; Reema Malhotra; Nana Ndeda
Children and families in Lebanon are enduring multiple crises. The economic collapse and the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly curtailed children’s rights and their access to basic services. This has been compounded by political deadlock, rising instability, and the enduring impact of the Beirut port explosion. Children’s education has been impacted, their mental wellbeing is worsening, there are increases in child labour and early marriage – and behind closed doors, physical, verbal, and sexual violence is being perpetrated against children. In 2020, the Arab Network on child rights (Manara Network) and Save the Children commissioned research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and child rights in Lebanon. The scope of this research was expanded in 2021 to include the impact of the economic crisis. The research process included a quantitative survey conducted in 2020 that covered Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian children, caregivers, and service providers; and interviews with public and private school principals, humanitarian and human rights organisations, and civil society associations. In 2021, focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with children, caregivers, teachers, and social workers in eight governorates in Lebanon. Gender balance, diversity of nationalities, and representation of people with disabilities, refugees, and immigrants were taken into consideration in all discussions.
Ronald Apunyo; Nasir Khan Yousafzai
Bethan Mathias; Sarah Singer
This research study evaluates the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on Save the Children’s use of feedback from adults and children in Bangladesh. It examines the impact of Covid-19 and the ways in which approaches to feedback inform Save the Children’s decision-making at a time of particular global challenge. The report’s findings are intended to serve as a useful, rapidly-realised tool for organisational learning and to support Save the Children as it continues to serve displaced populations in Bangladesh and globally.
Lucy Hall; Pawel Mania
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the bleak situation of education in Syria. Recurrent lockdowns and suspension of activities over 2020 and 2021 have limited children’s physical access to school and has worsened the poor economic situation across the country obliging many Syrian families to apply coping mechanisms including removing their children from schools. All of the above has resulted in an estimated 2.5 million children aged 5-17 years – one-third of the school-age population – are out of school. They are unable to exercise their basic right to education as laid out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). A further 1.6 million school-age children are at risk of being denied this right. These astonishing numbers indicate that a generation is growing up deprived of school in Syria. Those children are also more likely to suffer further violations, including falling victim to violence, child marriage, and engagement in worst form of child labour.
A snapshot survey carried out by Save the Children in 6 countries where schools have reopened, suggests that 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, significant numbers of the most vulnerable children are still out of school. This is not because of fear of the virus, but a result of child labour, child marriage, financial hardship, relocation and other consequences of the pandemic - and girls are particularly at risk. These briefs summarise the “out-of-school” context in these 6 countries – Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia, and Uganda.
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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