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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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31 - 45 of 86
Understanding patterns of food insecurity and family well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic using daily surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Steimle; Anna Gassman-Pines; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample (61% Latinx; 16% White; 9% Black; 14% mixed/other race) of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents (90% mothers; mean age = 35 years) and their elementary school-aged children (ages 4–11; 49% female) in rural Pennsylvania (N = 272). Families participating in a local food assistance program reported on food insecurity (FI) and parent and child mood and behavior daily from January to May 2020. Longitudinal models revealed that FI, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only FI and parent depression later decreased. FI decreased most among those who received the local food assistance program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt uniquely predicted decreases in child FI.
How to assess the child poverty and distributional impact of COVID-19 using household budget surveys: an application using Turkish data

AUTHOR(S)
Meltem A. Aran; Nazli Aktakke; Zehra Sena Kibar (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The European Journal of Development Research
This study presents a methodology to predict the child poverty impact of COVID19 that can be readily applied in other country contexts where similar household data are available—and illustrates this case using data from Turkey. Using Household Budget Survey 2018, the microsimulation model estimates the impact of labour income loss on household expenditures, considering that some types of jobs/sectors may be more vulnerable than others to the COVID-19 shock. Labour income loss is estimated to lead to reductions in monthly household expenditure using an income elasticity model, and expenditure-based child poverty is found to increase in Turkey by 4.9–9.3 percentage points (depending on shock severity) from a base level of 15.4%. Among the hypothetical cash transfer scenarios considered, the universal child grant for 0–17 years old children was found to have the highest child poverty reduction impact overall, while schemes targeting the bottom 20–30% of households are more cost-efective in terms of poverty reduction. The microsimulation model set out in this paper can be readily replicated in countries where similar Household Budget Surveys are available.
Society to cell: how child poverty gets “under the skin” to influence child development and lifelong health

AUTHOR(S)
Kim L. Schmidt; Sarah M. Merrill; Randip Gill (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Developmental Review
Almost one in three children globally live in households lacking basic necessities, and 356 million of these children were living in extreme poverty as of 2017. Disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic further increase rates of child poverty due to widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families. Poverty leads to unequal distribution of power and resources, which impacts the economic, material, environmental and psychosocial conditions in which children live. There is evidence that poverty is associated with adverse child health and developmental outcomes in the short term, as well as increased risk of chronic diseases and mental illnesses over the life course. Over the past decade, advances in genomic and epigenomic research have helped elucidate molecular mechanisms that could in part be responsible for these long-term effects. This study reviews evidence suggestive of biological embedding of early life poverty in three, interacting physiological systems that are potential contributors to the increased risk of disease: the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, the brain, and the immune system. It also reviews interventions that have been developed to both eliminate childhood poverty and alleviate its impact on pediatric development and health.
The challenges of inequality and COVID-19 for young people in Peru: evidence from the listening to young lives at work COVID-19 phone survey

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Santiago Cueto; Alan Sanchez

Published: August 2021

This policy brief looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of adolescents and young people in Peru as they transition into adulthood, focusing on how widening inequalities are hitting those from disadvantaged backgrounds hardest. Peru continues to suffer one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world, despite an initial strict national lockdown between March and June 2020, and subsequent regional lockdowns between July and September 2020. A second set of regional lockdowns, and new related restrictions, have been introduced since January 2021, in response to an even more devastating second wave of infections. This brief investigates the broader economic and social impacts of the pandemic, presenting policy recommendations based on findings from the Listening to Young Lives at Work COVID-19 phone survey, conducted in the second half of 2020. It focuses on five key areas of impact: interrupted education and inequality in learning outcomes; unequal access to decent jobs; worsening mental health and well-being; specific implications for girls and young women, including increased domestic work burdens; and increasing risk of domestic violence. It is part of a series of national policy briefs drawing on findings from our 2020 COVID-19 phone survey.

The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2021

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.

Young children and the pandemic: UNICEF early childhood COVID-19 response in East Asia and the Pacific
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: July 2021

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.

COVID-19 and the surge of child marriages: a phenomenon in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Maila D. H. Rahiem

Published: July 2021   Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect

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.

Early marriage and teenage pregnancy: the unspoken consequences of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

AUTHOR(S)
Shuaibu Saidu Musa; Goodness Ogeyi Odey; Muhammad Kabir Musa (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Public Health in Practice
Early marriage and its sad consequences to the girl child and socio-economic development of the nation has been an age-long issue being advocated against in many parts of Nigeria. At the onset of COVID-19, the teeming efforts to curb this issue almost got jeopardized with harsh economic situations in many households due to the lockdown and the willingness to marry off their girls to reduce this burden. Closure of schools and cases of sexual gender based violence also impacted the prevalence of early marriage during the pandemic in Nigeria.
Migrant workers in Malaysia: Covid-19’s impact on the rights of their children and siblings in Pakistan

AUTHOR(S)
Abdullah Khoso; Ahmad Hilmi Mohamad Noor

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights
With the help of narratives of migrant workers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this article seeks to understands the impacts of the covid-19 (known as the 2019 novel coronavirus) pandemic on the rights of their children and children’s siblings in Pakistan. The pandemic impacted the flow of remittances to their families, which further impacted children’s right to education, livelihoods and food. They also revealed that the pandemic had impacted their children’s right to protection, play and development. Children had lost the freedom to play and go outside, socialise and learn. Migrant workers’ children and siblings with limited financial support should have been provided with adequate financial and social security support by Pakistan, but they were not. They also revealed that during the pandemic, children were also regular victims of harsh treatment and physical abuse by adult family members, reflecting the exacerbation of issues of breaches of their fundamental right to protection and emotional integrity.
The impact of COVID-19 on household food insecurity and interlinkages with child feeding practices and poping strategies in Uttar Pradesh, India

AUTHOR(S)
Shivani Kachwaha; Phuong Nguyen; Anjali Pant (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has profound negative impacts on people's lives, but little is known on the effect of COVID-19 on household food insecurity (HFI) in poor setting resources. This study aimed to assess the changes in HFI during the pandemic and examine the interlinkages between HFI with child feeding practices and coping strategies in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 5 | Issue: Supplement 2 | No. of pages: 1 | Language: English | Topics: Child Poverty, Nutrition | Tags: child nutrition, child poverty, COVID-19 response, household food security, lockdown, social distance, social inequality | Countries: India
Analysis of the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on households and strategic policy recommendations for Indonesia
Institution: *UNICEF, UNDP, SMERU Research Institute, Prospera
Published: May 2021
In an effort to understand the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on women, families with children, vulnerable groups, and people with disabilities, the largest household survey recorded in Indonesia was launched between October and December 2020. Through qualitative interviews, over 12,000 families — across 34 provinces and 247 districts — were surveyed. The results revealed information about the impact of COVID-19 on employment, micro-businesses, food security, access to health, educational services and access to social protection programmes. On a deeper level, it provided insight into the impact of the pandemic on children’s development and wellbeing.
Real-Time Assessment (RTA) of UNICEF’s response to COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: April 2021

During the first quarter of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in LAC in a context of social and economic vulnerability and persisting high inequality. At the time, countries in the region were already experiencing a weakening of socioeconomic indicators and of social cohesion, and a rise in expressions of popular discontent and political crisis. In the decade following the global financial crisis (2010-2019), GDP growth for the region dropped from 6 to 0.2 percent. This RTA was conceived as a ‘light-touch’ evaluative exercise to assess how four COs adapted and implemented their response to COVID-19. Nevertheless, the RTA synthesis findings and conclusions are not fully representative of UNICEF’s overall response in the region, which  encompasses 24 country offices operating in highly diverse local contexts. The Evaluation section at UNICEF LACRO and the RTA team adopted a flexible approach in adjusting objectives, scope, and methods throughout the evaluative process to ensure the usability of the recommendations. The focus of the RTA evolved from an initial programmatic approach (‘what to prioritize’) to an analysis of the quality of the response (‘how to reinforce quality’).

Successful delivery of nutrition programs and the sustainable development goals

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel Lopez de Romaña; Alison Greig; Andrew Thompson (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnolog
Malnutrition affects millions of people globally, especially women, children, and other vulnerable populations. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone by 2030. To achieve the SDG goals effective nutrition interventions and programs need to be efficiently delivered to those most in need. Nutrition directly affects 2 SDGs (2 and 3) and indirectly influences five others. In addition, almost all SDGs influence nutrition and thus attaining the SDG goals is also a pre-requisite to achieving the Global Nutrition targets set in 2012.
'Now my life is stuck!’: experiences of adolescents and young people during COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa

AUTHOR(S)
Lesley Gittings; Elona Toska; Sally Medley (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: Global Public Health
Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic responses have included exacerbated poverty, food insecurity and state and domestic violence. Such effects may be particularly pronounced amongst adolescents and young people living in contexts of precarity and constraint, including in South Africa. However, there are evidence gaps on the lived experiences of this group. Telephonic semi-structured interviews with adolescents and young people in two South African provinces (n = 12, ages 18–25) were conducted in April 2020 to explore and document their experiences, challenges and coping strategies during strict COVID-19 lockdown.
Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in low-income countries

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler

Published: March 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and attempts to limit its spread have resulted in a contraction of the global economy. This study documents the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic among households, adults and children in low-income countries. To do so, it relies on longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda, originating from pre-COVID-19 face-to-face household surveys plus phone surveys implemented during the pandemic. 256 million individuals—77% of the population—are estimated to live in households that have lost income during the pandemic. Attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by food insecurity and an inability to access medicine and staple foods. Finally, this study finds that student– teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96% to just 17% among households with school-aged children. These findings can inform decisions by governments and international organizations on measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
31 - 45 of 86

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.