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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Both sides of the screen: predictors of parents’ and teachers’ depression and food insecurity during COVID-19-related distance learning

AUTHOR(S)
Anneanne Martin; Anne Partika; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strains on both parents and teachers, both of whose mental and financial hardships have serious implications for young children's wellbeing. This study drew on an existing cohort study of families with low incomes in Tulsa, OK when children were in their Spring of 1st grade in 2020. It surveyed parents and teachers – children's caregivers on both sides of the screen during distance learning – before and after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools were closed. It first compared the proportion of parents and teachers who were depressed and food-insecure before and after the pandemic struck. It then used pre-pandemic characteristics of parents and teachers in separate models to predict their depression and food insecurity during the pandemic.
The impact of COVID-19 on gender equality and food security in the Arab region with a focus on the Sudan and Iraq
This rapid gender analysis (RGA) explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality and food security in the Arab region. It is a joint collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and CARE International (CARE). This collaboration recognizes the need to expand the evidence base on gender-differentiated impacts of crises for informed recovery and response planning, while highlighting the imperative of collecting sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD) more consistently.
The evolution of young people’s mental health during COVID-19 and the role of food insecurity: evidence from a four low-and-middle-income-country cohort study

AUTHOR(S)
Catherine Porter; Annina Hittmeyer; Marta Favara (et al.)

Published: February 2022   Journal: Public Health in Practice

This study aimed to provide evidence on how young people’s mental health has evolved in Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries (LMICs) during the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. Identify particularly vulnerable groups who report high and/or continuously high rates of mental health issues. Two consecutive phone-surveys (August–October and November–December 2020) in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam interviewed around 9000 participants of a 20-year cohort study who grew up in poverty, now aged 19 and 26. Rates of at least mild anxiety/depression measured by GAD-7/PHQ-8 were each compared across countries; between males/females, and food secure/food insecure households.

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.
Physical activity, food consumption, and breakfast among normal and overweight elementary school children in Bogor during Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Dini Rizkiani Putri; Cesilia Meti Dwiriani; Dodik Briawan

Published: November 2021   Journal: Jurnal Gizi dan Pangan
The objective of this study was to analyze differences in physical activity, quality of food consumption and breakfast between elementary school children with normal and overweight nutritional status in Bogor City of Indonesia during the Covid-19 pandemic. This was a cross sectional study carried out from September 2020 to January 2021 in nine elementary schools in Bogor City. This research was conducted when school from home had been running for about six months. Survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire filled by the subject's parents via google form and Microsoft word and then interviewing via whatsapp. Physical activity measured using the Physical Activity Level (PAL) method and food consumption quality using the Individual Dietary Diversity Score (IDDS). Breakfast quality based on the intake and contribution of energy and protein at breakfast.
Pacific aftershocks: unmasking the impact of COVID-19 on lives and livelihoods in the Pacific and Timor-Leste
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2021

The aftershocks of COVID-19 threaten to undo decades of development gains across the Pacific region. World Vision surveyed 752 households in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu between July and December 2020 to gather first-hand accounts of the impacts of COVID-19 and its aftershocks on communities, families and their children. The findings highlight the human cost of the severe economic recession that has befallen the broader Pacific region since the pandemic, laying bare the region’s vulnerability to future shocks, stresses, and uncertainties.

School feeding and food and nutrition security in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in the northern region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

AUTHOR(S)
Ana Eliza Port Lourenço; Naiara Sperandio; Priscila Vieira Pontes (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: Food Ethics
Due to the pandemic and the suspension of in-person school classes, there was an interruption in the meals served to approximately 40 million students who benefited from the Brazilian National School Feeding Program (PNAE). This article describes two case studies, comparing the strategies adopted by two municipalities for maintaining school feeding during the Covid-19 pandemic in the northern region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and discuss possible impacts of these strategies on food and nutrition security. These municipalities together cover about 81% of the population in the region.
Longitudinal patterns of food insecurity, the home food environment, and parent feeding practices during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Elizabeth L. Adams; Laura J. Caccavale; Danyel Smith (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Obesiti Science and Practice

The economic impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) have drastically increased food insecurity in the United States. Initial data, collected a few months into the pandemic, showed that families, particularly those experiencing food insecurity, reported detrimental changes to their home food environment and parent feeding practices, compared to before COVID‐19. This follow‐up study obtained longitudinal data from a sample of parents in the United States to quantify changes in food security status, the home food environment, and parent feeding practices, from before to across COVID‐19 as the pandemic continued to persist.

Asia and the Pacific regional overview of food security and nutrition 2020: maternal and child diets at the heart of improving nutrition
This is the third annual report jointly written by United Nations agencies on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG 2 – Zero Hunger) and the World Health Assembly 2030 targets for nutrition in the Asia and Pacific region. The first part of this report tracks progress on key SDG 2 indicators and World Health Assembly targets up to 2019. The second part of the report focuses on challenges and possible solutions to improve maternal and child diets in the Asia and Pacific region.
Measuring and mitigating child hunger in the UK

AUTHOR(S)
Aveek Bhattacharya; Jake Shepherd

Published: December 2020
Food insecurity, and particularly child hunger, has been a source of growing social and political concern for the best part of a decade. There are fears that COVID-19, and the economic shutdowns brought in its wake, will make it even worse. That has drawn substantial public attention to the issue – not least as a result of a high-profile campaign from Marcus Rashford and his Child Food Poverty Taskforce and subsequent changes in Government policy on support for children in England on free school meals through the school holidays. Campaigners have long argued that there is inadequate data on food insecurity and child hunger in the UK. In 2019, the Government incorporated a battery of questions on the topic into its Family Resources Survey. However, the 2019/20 results will not be published until March 2021, and it will be 2022 until we have data covering the period of the pandemic. In this report, we attempt to fill that breach, providing initial findings on the level of food insecurity in the UK, as well as the impact of the pandemic.
Pre-pandemic influences on Kenyan girls’ transitions to adulthood during COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Meghan Bellerose; Maryama Diaw; Jessie Pinchof (et al.)

Published: December 2020   Journal: Girlhood Studies
COVID-19 containment measures have left adolescent girls in Nairobi, Kenya vulnerable to negative educational, economic, and secondary health outcomes that threaten their safe transitions into adulthood. In June 2020, the Population Council conducted phone-based surveys with 856 girls aged between 10 and 19 in 5 informal settlements who had been surveyed prior to COVID-19 as part of five longitudinal studies. We performed bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses to assess the relationship between COVID-19 outcomes and potential protective or risk factors. We found that younger girls are experiencing high levels of food insecurity and difficulty learning from home during school closures, while many older girls face the immediate risk of dropping out of school permanently and have been forgoing needed health services.
Impact of Covid-19 on youth in the Lake Chad region

AUTHOR(S)
Josaphat Tchetan Awo

Institution: Plan International
Published: December 2020

The crisis affecting the Lake Chad Basin is one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world, having displaced more than 2.4 million people, half of whom are children. Most are internally-displaced but this number also includes refugees and returnees. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people living in humanitarian contexts are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic and will continue to feel the post-pandemic impacts. For people living in areas with weak health systems, disrupted social support networks, and ongoing conflict and instability, the coronavirus is an additional crisis that they have to face and adapt to. Within this population, youth face increased vulnerability. Youth groups however, provide a critical voice for accountability at the community, state/district and national level. In addition, most youth groups tend to be self-led, volunteer-based, internally-funded and informal with little to no structure. As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on nations’ economies, the pressure for economic survival is heightened for this group who already face bleak employment or income generation prospects. Beyond the impact on youth as individuals, there’s a threat to their ability to contribute to community building through youth groups, as their focus shifts to economic survival. This report seeks to highlight the effects of the pandemic on young people, and how they are facing their future.

Reorienting nurturing care for early childhood development during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya: a review

AUTHOR(S)
Constance Shumba; Rose Maina; Gladys Mbuthia (et al.)

Published: October 2020   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
In Kenya, millions of children have limited access to nurturing care. With the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is anticipated that vulnerable children will bear the biggest brunt of the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. This review aimed to deepen understanding of the effects of COVID-19 on nurturing care from conception to four years of age, a period where the care of children is often delivered through caregivers or other informal platforms. The review has drawn upon the empirical evidence from previous pandemics and epidemics, and anecdotal and emerging evidence from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Multifactorial impacts fall into five key domains: direct health; health and nutrition systems; economic protection; social and child protection; and child development and early learning. The review proposes program and policy strategies to guide the reorientation of nurturing care, prevent the detrimental effects associated with deteriorating nurturing care environments, and support the optimal development of the youngest and most vulnerable children. These include the provision of cash transfers and essential supplies for vulnerable households and strengthening of community-based platforms for nurturing care.
Food insecurity in households with young children: a test of contextual congruence

AUTHOR(S)
Justin T. Denney; Mackenzie Brewer; Rachel Tolbert Kimbro

Published: October 2020   Journal: Social Science & Medicine
Household food insecurity, an inability to provide adequate nutrition for a healthy, active lifestyle, affects nearly 1 in 7 households with children in the United States. Though rates of food insecurity declined to pre-recession levels just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are now once again increasing. As a result, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, millions of young children continue to grow up in households that struggle daily with a problem that is often associated with the developing world. The result is both immediate and long- term health and development deficits for children.
Disaster risk reduction in times of COVID-19: What have we learned?

AUTHOR(S)
Wirya Khim

Published: August 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has more than ever shown the changing risk environment, as well as the systemic and overlaying nature of risks that affect and threaten all sectors. It has reinforced the call for multi-sectoral, multi-hazard and preventive and anticipatory approaches that consistently integrate disaster, climate and crisis risk management for strengthening the resilience of people, their agricultural livelihoods and the ecosystems they depend on in a sustainable manner. In her opinion paper, FAO Natural Resources Officer Wirya Khim discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the agriculture and food systems through a disaster risk reduction lens and offers some key lessons learned that are geared toward evidence-based and risk-informed interventions for inclusive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.
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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.