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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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The effects of financial stress and household socio-economic deprivation on the malnutrition statuses of children under five during the COVID-19 lockdown in a marginalized region of South Punjab, Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Muhammad Babar Alam; Muhammad Shahid; Bashar Isam Alzghoul (et al.)

Published: December 2022   Journal: Children
The lockdown after the COVID-19 pandemic not only caused public health crises and income stress but also put millions at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition across the globe, especially in low and middle-income countries [LMICs]. This study evaluated the effects of financial stress and household socio-economic deprivation on the nutritional status of 1551 children under the age of five during COVID-19 in Pakistan. A self-administered questionnaire was used between November 2020 and April 2021 to collect information on age, height, children’s weight, and socio-economic status from 1152 rural households from underdeveloped regions in Punjab, Pakistan. With the help of the proportionate simple random sampling method, this study employed a model (binary logistic regression) to calculate the likelihood of malnourishment.
Impact of COVID-19 on children
Published: November 2022   Journal: Middle East Current Psychiatry
The COVID-19 global pandemic has spread throughout the world, posing an extremely dangerous health risk for almost everyone. While dealing with such a large-scale viral disease, the healthcare infrastructure is under strain. Young adults who were thought to have been clinically affected fared better than their older counterparts. This pandemic has affected millions of children, especially those from low-economic backgrounds, who are otherwise highly susceptible and underprivileged. Children of frontline workers and single parents face particular challenges. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more vulnerable to infection and may experience long-lasting negative effects of the pandemic, such as child labor, child trafficking, child marriage, sexual exploitation, and even death. To lessen the psychological negative effects of COVID-19 on children and adolescents, parents, physicians, psychologists, social workers, and hospital administrators, government and non-governmental organizations have essential responsibilities to play. Priority one is to ensure that all children from all socioeconomic strata have access to the necessities of life, including social security, health care, and education. Moreover, some positive changes may result from the global crisis. This research paper discusses the potential consequences of this pandemic.
The COVID-19 consequences on child labour in agrifood systems

This paper provides insights and evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and related policy responses to curb its spread influence the risk of child labour in agriculture through different pathways.It draws on case studies from seven countries covering different production systems: Côte d’Ivoire (cocoa), Ethiopia (cattle keeping and farming), (Lebanon (horticulture and greenhouse farms), the Philippines (municipal fisheries), and Viet Nam (crop farming, livestock, and citrus fruit chains). Based on these evidence, the document provides concluding reflections and recommendations on priority areas regarding knowledge generation and data collection, policy responses (social protection, education), and household- and community-level responses.

Adaptive social protection in Southern Africa
Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2022
The countries of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) - Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa are exposed to climatic shocks, especially drought, that pose a continual threat to lives and livelihoods across the subregion. The pandemic has compounded these existing vulnerabilities. Climatic shocks such as these tend to affect the poorest most, exacerbating inequalities and increasing poverty. Food insecurity, which is chronic in the subregion and both a root cause of vulnerability to drought and an outcome of it also increased as a result of impacts from the pandemic. Social safety net programs can help poor and vulnerable households manage the risks they face from shocks, helping to mitigate the impacts on poverty and food insecurity, but their effectiveness can be constrained in several ways. The mobilization of social protection in response to COVID-19 and the challenges that have emerged to that mobilization have strengthened the case for investments in preparedness ahead of future shocks. Adaptive social protection refers to an agenda for preparing social protection systems to improve their response to shocks and to build the resilience of poor and vulnerable households. This report takes stock of ASP in four of the five SACU countries and provides targeted recommendations for each country’s development.
Cambodia poverty assessment: toward a more inclusive and resilient Cambodia

AUTHOR(S)
Wendy Karamba; Kimsun Tong; Isabelle Salcher

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2022
This poverty assessment evaluates Cambodia’s poverty reduction progress between 2009 and 2019 and contributing factors. Based on the authors understanding of contributing factors, the assessment asks what the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been, and what will be needed to support inclusive recovery. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) recently updated the national poverty lines for Cambodia. Prompted by Cambodia’s transition to lower middle-income status in 2015, the RGC revisited the poverty measurement methodology in 2017; the review confirmed that the way Cambodians live and spend today has changed considerably as the country became richer, and that the national poverty lines needed revising to better reflect economic realities. This assessment uses the new poverty lines to evaluate Cambodia between 2009 and 2019, coupled with other data sources. This poverty assessment covers 5 chapters. Chapter 1 examines the progress Cambodia made in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity between 2009 and 2019. Chapter 2 examines the evolution of nonmonetary poverty between 2009 and 2019. Chapter 3 examines the profile of poverty and inequality in 2019/20. Chapter 4 examines the 2019 fiscal system and its effects on poverty and inequality in 2019/20. Chapter 5 examines COVID-19 socio-economic effects on Cambodian Households in 2020.
Towards an inclusive recovery from COVID-19 impacts : a policy brief

AUTHOR(S)
Nadia Belhaj Hassine; Sharon Faye Piza; Francine Claire Fernandez

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2022
Coronavirus (COVID-19) partly reversed gains made in three decades of sustained decline in poverty and a decade of accelerated reduction in inequality in Philippines. Although the economy is recovering gradually, there are signs that the recovery may be uneven. Income recovery also seems to be slower for the poor. The COVID-19 pandemic may have long-term negative impacts on development of human capital. To manage the pandemic shock, a considerable number of poor households have relied on such adverse coping mechanisms as reducing food consumption, which may aggravate already prevalent child malnutrition and stunting. Policy needs to be directed to support an inclusive recovery and to address enduring medium to long term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food insecurity and eating habits of Lebanese children aged 5-11 years during the COVID-19 pandemic and the socioeconomic crisis: a national study

AUTHOR(S)
Reine Gedeon; Souheil Hallit; Lara Hanna Wakim

Published: October 2022   Journal: BMC Public Health

Food insecurity is the lack of access to nutritious healthy food due to economic and financial insufficiencies. Food insecurity is expected to be higher during these difficult times in Lebanon, which is facing many financial, political, economic and health debates. The present study aims to find the prevalence of food insecurity among Lebanese children during the COVID-19 pandemic and its correlates. This cross-sectional study enrolled 4001 participants from all Lebanese governorates (March–April 2022). The Ministry of Education and Higher Education randomly disseminated the link to parents of children aged between 5 and 11 years from public and private schools.

COVID-19 pandemic impacts on Asia and the Pacific

AUTHOR(S)
A. Elbehri; T. Temel; F. Burcu Ceylan (et al.)

The COVID-19 health crisis has turned into a global economic crisis, putting at risk the health, jobs and incomes of millions of people across the world. The pandemic is becoming persistent and seemingly slow to eradicate, with medium and long-term consequences affecting the trajectories of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets across the countries. Better understanding of the implications of COVID-19 containment these measures for food systems, food insecurity and malnutrition is vital to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a food crisis and to rebuilt resilient food systems. The regional review presented in this report is broad-based but provisional since we are still dealing with an active pandemic having just moved past the fourth wave (dominated by Delta variant) and now facing a new variant, Omicron (whose real impact is still under review). As we approach 2022, the world is learning to live with COVID-19 and its variants for longer than initially believed. So the numbers related to COVID-19 infections and vaccination rates are only provisional and reflect the situation as of the time of writing.
A global review of COVID-19 policy and programmatic responses to child labour in agrifood systems

This review aims to look into the consequences of (1) the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the pandemic and (2) the policies and programmatic responses to mitigate socio-economic consequences of the pandemic and how they have potentially interacted with child labour drivers, especially in agrifood systems. Thus, this review aims to document and spell out how policy and programmatic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular social protection measures, have the potential to prevent or contain an increase of child labour in agriculture at large.

Social protection and response to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean

AUTHOR(S)
Nurth Palomo; Luis Vargas Faulbaum; Anna Carolina Machado (et al.)

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2022

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the foundations of the economy and provoked devastating social effects in all the countries in the world, being Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) one of the most affected regions. The region is also experiencing a significant deterioration in the levels of poverty and extreme poverty, which affects children and adolescents more significantly. This Research Report analyzes digital payment systems for social protection interventions in the region.

Afghanistan: a children's crisis
Institution: World Vision
Published: August 2022

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.

“We will die in poverty before dying by COVID”: Young adults and multilayered crises in Afghanistan

AUTHOR(S)
Orzala Nemat; Vidya Diwakar; Ihsanullah Ghafoori (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: August 2022
Afghanistan experienced an extraordinary situation in 2021 that presents a complex example of how an intensified level of conflict and the global COVID-19 pandemic of added to an increasing prevalence of drought due to climate change has been affecting people’s livelihoods from different angles. In pre-August 2021, the country experienced record-level violence across the provinces. This was followed by the gradual fall of districts, provinces and finally the capital Kabul into the hands of the current de facto authorities, the Taliban. Meanwhile, like any other part of the world, Afghanistan also experienced the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hindered people’s access to jobs, health care and different sources of revenue. Alongside this, the second-worst drought in 4 years (IFRC, 2021) has widely affected the livelihoods of the majority of people who rely on agriculture and livestock as the sole source of income. There has been limited research into how these situations have combined to affect livelihoods and wellbeing in Afghanistan. This article by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit attempts to advance understanding of this issue and promote research that investigates overlapped crises.
Nowcasting impact of COVID-19 on multidimensional child poverty

AUTHOR(S)
Olivera Fiala; Aristide Kielem; Enrique Delamónica (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: Statistical Journal of the IAOS
From the onset, it was clear that the impact of the global economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was unlikely to affect all children equally. Thus, it was necessary to ascertain the impact of COVID-19 on child poverty as the events unfolded. Many of the indirect effects of the pandemic – disruptions to health services, delayed vaccination programmes, widespread school closures, and increases in food insecurity – have significant impacts on the realisation of children’s rights and, consequently, were expected to increase material deprivations across different dimensions. The question was by how much? In this article we explain the modelling and methodological approach to project or nowcast the answer to that question. The method is dynamic as it was revised as additional information emerged during 2020 and 2021.
Implications of COVID-19 labour market shock for child and household hungers in South Africa: do social protection programs protect?

AUTHOR(S)
Dambala Gelo; Johane Dikgang

Published: July 2022   Journal: Plos One

Recent studies have confirmed that the COVID-19 lockdown has caused massive job losses. However, the impact of this loss on food security is not well-understood. Moreover, a paucity of evidence exists regarding social protection grants’ countervailing effects against such shocks. This study examined the effects of job loss (labour income loss) on child and household hungers (our two measures food insecurity) during COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. It also ascertained whether these effect were offset by alternative social grant programs to document the protective role of the latter.It used South Africa’s National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) and the Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) data. These data cover a nationally representative sample of 7073 individuals. We employed a probit model to estimate the effect of job loss and receipts of various social grants on child and households’ hungers. It also estimated the double-selection logit model to account for the model’s uncertainty surrounding the variable selection and treatment-effects estimation using lasso (Telasso) for causal inference of our analysis.

Family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic: the risks of financial insecurity and coping

AUTHOR(S)
Marybel R. Gonzalez; Sandra A. Brown; William E. Pelham 3. (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Journal of Research on Adolescence
During the COVID-19 pandemic, families have experienced unprecedented financial and social disruptions. This research studied the impact of preexisting psychosocial factors and pandemic-related financial and social disruptions in relation to family well-being among N = 4091 adolescents and parents during early summer 2020, participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive DevelopmentSM Study. Poorer family well-being was linked to prepandemic psychosocial and financial adversity and was associated with pandemic-related material hardship and social disruptions to routines. Parental alcohol use increased risk for worsening of family relationships, while a greater endorsement of coping strategies was mainly associated with overall better family well-being. Financial and mental health support may be critical for family well-being during and after a widespread crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
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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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Each quarterly thematic digest features the latest evidence drawn from the Children and COVID-19 Research Library on a particular topic of interest.
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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.