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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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1 - 15 of 37
Price shocks: rising food prices threaten the lives of thousands of children
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2022

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.

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.
Food system opportunities in a turbulent time

AUTHOR(S)
Cesar Calderon; Alain Kabundi; Kubota Megumi (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: October 2022
African economies are facing a series of challenges to their post-pandemic recovery. Economic activity in the region is slowing to 3.3 percent amid global headwinds, including weak global growth and tightening global financial conditions. Elevated inflation rates and resulting policy tightening, as well as the rising risk of debt distress, are also impacting economic activity. While food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa was increasing before the onset of Covid-19, the pandemic and the food and energy crisis have contributed to the recent steep increase in food insecurity and malnutrition. Climate shocks, low productivity in agriculture, lack of infrastructure also contribute to rising food insecurity in the region. The economic fallout from the multiple crises affecting the region has lowered household incomes, increased poverty, widen inequality and heightened food insecurity. This report discusses short-term measures combined with medium- to long-term policy actions that can strengthen African countries' capacity to build resilience and seize opportunities to unlock productivity-enhancing growth while protecting the poor and vulnerable.
Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: August 2022

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP has continually assessed household vulnerability to food and nutrition insecurity through monitoring surveys, while simultaneously providing technical assistance and operations support for programmes in response to the pandemic in the Asia Pacific region. Based on these experiences and in cooperation with partners, WFP undertook a series of studies to better understand the realities of the food security and nutrition landscape since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. In addition to WFP’s food security monitoring reports and data made available from WFP’s Fill the Nutrient Gap analyses, this brief utilizes secondary data relevant to the crisis, as well as four documents recently published by WFP and its partners. While the focus of this brief is on the COVID-19 crisis, its lessons can be applied now and into the future. Other types of covariate shocks will create compounding problems for countries.

There should always be a free lunch: the impact of COVID-19 lockdown suspension of the mid-day meal on nutriture of primary school children in Karnataka, India

AUTHOR(S)
Prashanth Thankachan; Sumithra Selvam; Agnita R. Narendra (et al.)

Published: July 2022   Journal: BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health

The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020 resulted in school closures with eventual suspension of the mid-day meal programme, biannual deworming and iron–folic acid supplements. One year into the lockdown, we evaluated the impact of the withdrawal of these programmes on the nutritional status of rural primary-school children, aged 6–12 years, in Karnataka, India.  Anthropometry, haemoglobin, serum ferritin and C reactive protein were measured in 290 children at two time points, 1 year apart, starting from just before the lockdown (February 2020 to February 2021).

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the fruit and vegetable prescription program in a pediatric clinic

AUTHOR(S)
Irene Lieu; Mona Hanna-Attisha; Jenny LaChance (et al.)

Published: June 2022   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition
Hurley Children's Clinic's novel fruit and vegetable prescription program aims to improve nutrition intake, household food security, and nutrition access. Children receive $15 prescriptions for fruits and vegetables redeemable at the Flint Farmers’ Market or through the mobile market, Flint Fresh, for a home delivered produce box. The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, resulting in a national decrease in pediatric visits. Children missed routine well-child and health maintenance visits, including necessary vaccinations and screenings. The aim of this evaluation is to better understand how the pandemic impacted the distribution and redemption of fruit and vegetable prescriptions.
Cite this research | Open access | Vol.: 6 | Issue: Supplement 1 | No. of pages: 1 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Nutrition | Tags: child health, child nutrition, community health, COVID-19 response, food policies, lockdown, social distance | Countries: United States
Effect of orange almond potato cookies supplementation on the nutritional status of underweight preschool-aged children during COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Fatma Fatmah; Nur Asiah; Etty Rekawati (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Plos One
Most undernourished preschool-aged children have low hemoglobin and albumin levels, which leads to a higher risk of infections, including COVID-19. This study was designed to determine whether potato almond orange cookies increase weight, hemoglobin, and albumin) in undernourished preschool-aged children during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pre-post intervention study was conducted with 30 subjects during 8 weeks in which hemoglobin and albumin levels were recorded at the beginning and end. Education on balanced nutrition was provided to mothers using leaflets, flipcharts, and videos.
Mobilizing and delivering essential meals to children and families affected by school closures during COVID-19 and beyond

AUTHOR(S)
Benjamin J. Ryan; Victoria Telford; Mark Brickhouse (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of School Health

The closure of schools in response to COVID-19 compromised access to essential meals for many students. The Emergency Meals-to-You program, a public/private partnership, was set up to address this challenge. More than 38.7 million meals were delivered between April and August 2020. This study explores lessons learned and identifies strategies for strengthening food access and security at schools and beyond. Qualitative research methods were used. This included interviews and focus groups with participants involved in setting up and delivering the Emergency Meals-to-You program. Data were thematically analyzed using key phrases, ideas, and concepts, and interpreted.

Poverty and food insecurity during COVID-19: phone-survey evidence from rural and urban Myanmar in 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Derek Headey; Sophie Goudet; Isabel Lambrecht (et al.)

Published: April 2022   Journal: Global Food Security
Myanmar first experienced the COVID-19 crisis as a relatively brief economic shock in early 2020, before the economy was later engulfed by a prolonged surge in COVID-19 cases from September 2020 onwards. To analyze poverty and food security in Myanmar during 2020 we surveyed over 2000 households per month from June–December in urban Yangon and the rural dry zone. By June, households had suffered dramatic increases in poverty, but even steeper increases accompanied the rise in COVID-19 cases from September onwards. Increases in poverty were much larger in urban areas, although poverty was always more prevalent in the rural sample. However, urban households were twice as likely to report food insecurity experiences, suggesting rural populations felt less food insecure throughout the crisis.
Food security and diets in urban Asia: how resilient are food systems in times of COVID-19?

AUTHOR(S)
Heather Ohly; Martyn Clark; Sonja Read (et al.)

Institution: World Food Programme
Published: February 2022
Vulnerable populations in urban areas globally have been among the worst hit by the global COVID-19 crisis. In South and South-East Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased levels of vulnerability and food insecurity in cities through disruptions to food supply chains, increased food prices and loss of income. In 2021, the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBB) and Dikoda undertook an assessment to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on food systems in eight selected cities in the Asia/Pacific region. This research assesses the resilience and adaptability of urban food systems by exploring external drivers, food supply chains, food environments, individual factors, consumer behaviour and diet outcomes. The report triangulates findings between qualitative research carried out by Dikoda, WFP assessments and external sources to provide regional insights, as well as eight city-specific briefs on local-level impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerabilities. This report presents recommendations for improving policy-response to external shocks specific to urban South and South-East Asian contexts and methodological recommendations for better tracking of vulnerability in urban contexts.
Better today: COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of youth activists in Asia Pacific
Institution: Plan International
Published: January 2022

The news encouraged people to see all the global, regional and national responses by the governments and various organizations. There are local efforts by the agents of change that also deserve the spotlight - young people. Plan International advocates for youth-led movements and seeks to ensure that girls and young women experience significant improvement in their ability to make decisions that concern their lives and engage in collective action to shape the world around them. In two years, the pandemic has negatively affected our progress on gender equality and girls’ rights, but young people decided not to surrender. Plan International is proud to accompany them in the journey supporting community recovery. This report will show the global pandemic through different lenses of young people. There are inevitably various hardships, even loss and pain from the devastating negative effects that COVID-19 brings to the region. But the spirit here is apparent, that youth activists in Asia Pacific won’t wait for the storm to pass, instead they fight the pandemic hard and start to build a better today. Stepping out of the “battle”, young activists in the region are invited to come together, listen to the personal stories and experiences of their peers in a series of Focus Group Discussions, write each other letters that are full of empathy and encouragement and see the world they long to visit through a collection of photo voices.

Experiences of increased food insecurity, economic, and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic among SNAP-enrolled food pantry clients

AUTHOR(S)
Robin T. Higashi; Anubha Sood; Ana Belen Conrado (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The COVID-19 pandemic initially doubled the rates of food insecurity across the USA and tripled rates among households with children. Despite the association among food insecurity, chronic disease and psychological distress, narratives depicting the experiences of already food insecure populations are notably underrepresented in the literature. The current study assessed the impact of COVID-19 on clients of a food pantry who were also enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a qualitative study probing the effects of the pandemic on daily living, food needs, food buying and food insecurity. Interview transcripts were analysed using a combined deductive and inductive approach. Interviews were conducted via telephone between May and June of 2020 among equal numbers of English- and Spanish-speaking clients (n 40 total).

Lessons learned for emergency feeding during modifications to 11 school feeding programs in Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Uriyoán Colón-Ramos; Rafael Monge-Rojas; Jael Goldsmith Weil (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Food and Nutrition Bulletin

School feeding programs (SFPs) can play a crucial role in the emergency food and nutrition response, but there is a dearth of information on how SFPs operate during emergencies. A rapid comparative assessment of 11 SFPs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from (1) systematic document search and (2) surveys with key informants (n = 23) about barriers/facilitators to modifications were systematically analyzed using a multiple case study approach.

“Consult us on what concerns us”: children’s recommendations for the hunger response in South Sudan

AUTHOR(S)
Ronald Apunyo; Nasir Khan Yousafzai

Published: November 2021
Save the Children’s South Sudan country office held consultations with children to explore the impact of hunger, flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives. Throughout 2020 and 2021, Save the Children has been providing humanitarian assistance to children and communities affected by these disasters, striving to support them through extremely challenging times. Our children’s consultations were aimed at exploring children’s views of Save the Children’s response so far, and the wider humanitarian response in the region. Their answers, detailing how they deal with hunger and its effects on them, their families, and communities, will help us to understand and document how children’s voices, needs, priorities, and recommendations should be included in the local humanitarian response. This assessment also gives us an overview of how children are involved in decision-making processes, and to what extent we are addressing their needs.
School feeding amidst a pandemic: preparing for the new normal in Asia and the Pacific
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: August 2021
Prior to COVID-19, close to 129 million children in the Asia and the Pacific region received school meals, primarily through government-led, national school feeding programmes. Due to COVID-19 school closures, many of these children stopped receiving on-site school meals. Although some countries introduced alternative solutions, school-age children are expected to have been negatively affected by this disruption. Against this backdrop, the World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBB) commissioned Oxford Policy Management to undertake a review of adaptations to on-site SF in order to inform policymaking and programming in the context of the new reality. This research sought to answer the key research question through an emphasis on gathering data primarily from six countries in the region where WFP supports SF programmes in different capacities: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Philippines and Sri Lanka.
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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.