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This year’s The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) summarizes the first global assessment of food insecurity and malnutrition for 2020 and offers some indication of what hunger and malnutrition would look like by 2030, in a scenario further complicated by the enduring effects of the pandemic. Nearly one-tenth of the world population – up to 811 million people went hungry in 2020. After remaining virtually unchanged for five years, world hunger increased last year. Further, it is projected that around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, 30 million more people than in a scenario in which the pandemic had not occurred, due to lasting effects of COVID-19 on global food security. The setback makes the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for zero hunger and ending all forms of malnutrition more challenging. The report indicates that progress has been made for some forms of malnutrition, but the world is not on track to achieve any global nutrition targets by 2030. Globally, 44 percent of infants under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed in 2019 – up from 37 percent in 2012 but the practice varies considerably among regions. Child malnutrition still persists at an alarming rate –an estimated 149 million children were stunted, 45 million were wasted and 39 million were overweight in 2020. The report presents new projections of potential additional cases of child stunting and wasting due to COVID-19. Based on a conservative scenario, it is projected that an additional 22 million children in low- and middle-income countries will be stunted, an additional 40 million will be wasted between 2020 and 2030 due to the pandemic. Comprehensive and urgent efforts are required to address the detrimental effects of the pandemic and achieve the 2030 global targets.
At the height of nationwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 150 million children younger than 5 years in East Asia and the Pacific were affected. The pandemic brought service provision for young children in many of the 27 countries supported by UNICEF programmes that promote nurturing care and are essential to their optimal development to a standstill. Yet, even before the pandemic, more than 42 million children in the region were at risk of not reaching their developmental potential. Using the latest available evidence, this report summarizes the impact of the pandemic on services essential for young children’s development: For example, that the number of children younger than 5 years visiting community health centres in Viet Nam dropped by 48 per cent; that in Indonesia, more than 50 per cent of households reported not being able to meet their family’s nutritional needs; or that in the Philippines, more than 80 per cent of households experienced a decrease in their household income. Households facing disadvantages before COVID-19 – those with young children, those living in rural and remote areas and low-income households – are in most cases more disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
Maila D. H. Rahiem
Worldwide, there has been a massive increase in child marriages following the COVID-19 crisis. In Indonesia, too, this figure has risen with Indonesia ranked amongst ten countries with the highest rates of child marriage in the world. One of the Indonesian provinces with a high incidence of child marriage cases is in Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB). This study aims to examine what is causing the rate of child marriages to increase since the outbreak of COVID-19 in NTB.
Shuaibu Saidu Musa; Goodness Ogeyi Odey; Muhammad Kabir Musa (et al.)
Shivani Kachwaha; Phuong Nguyen; Anjali Pant (et al.)
Daniel Lopez de Romaña; Alison Greig; Andrew Thompson (et al.)
Lesley Gittings; Elona Toska; Sally Medley (et al.)
Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler
The European Union (EU) is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of children. In the era of Covid-19 pandemic, it is undertaking two major pieces of work to contribute to making this commitment a reality: a strategy on the rights of the child 2021-2024 and a child guarantee to ensure every child in Europe at risk of poverty has access to essential services. To find out what children are experiencing and what they say needs to change, the EU approached five child rights organizations – Child Fund Alliance, Eurochild, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Vision – to consult with children on their lives, aspirations and concerns for the future. This report presents the findings of that consultation with over 10,000 children aged 11–17 across Europe and beyond.
Navpreet Kaur; Roger W. Byard
Rebekah Levine Coley
This report investigates how COVID-19 and other shocks have impacted child well-being in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) during 2020 and the potential role of cash transfers and external resources to help children and economies. It reviews the latest social, economic and financial information from a range of global databases and modelling exercises, draws on emerging country-level reporting and carries out projections where recent data are unavailable. Although information remains incomplete and things are quickly evolving, the outlook is alarming.
Evidence and objective assessment are needed more than ever
to help enhance the rights and well-being of the world’s children. Researching the changing world around us and evaluating progress are two sides of the same coin, both critical to reimagining a better future for children. In recognition of this,
UNICEF celebrates and showcases innovative and influential research and
evaluations from our offices around the world every year. For 2020, Innocenti and the
Evaluation Office joined forces to find the most rigorous UNICEF studies with
greatest influence on policies and programmes that benefit children.
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