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S. Amin; I. M.I. Hossain; S. Ainul (et al.)
Poor learning remains a central challenge in Bangladesh despite considerable progress in advancing schooling access and reducing gender gaps in education. The learning crisis is feared to have been exacerbated during extended school closures and limited alternative opportunities for schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic. This brief summarizes findings on learning loss among adolescent girls during the pandemic in rural Bangladesh.
Nataliya Borodchuk; Liudmyla Cherenko
Since 2016, absolute poverty (when a person cannot afford basic food, clothing, medical care and adequate housing) among families with children has decreased. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic and social crisis, the problem of child poverty in Ukraine has worsened. Growing up in poverty is a violation of children’s rights, and a failure of nations to protect their future. Other countries have proved that we can reduce child poverty, if not completely overcome it. This task requires cooperation at all levels. First of all, in order to understand the gravity of the problem and recognize what mechanisms can help to solve it, we need proper monitoring and analysis. That's why the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) analyzed child poverty in Ukraine and, based on the results, developed recommendations that could help to reduce child poverty. The report aims to shed light on the specific challenges faced by Ukrainian children when experiencing poverty. The unique needs of young Ukrainians should be at the heart of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy. One hundred and 93 members of the United Nations have committed to reducing child poverty under the Sustainable Development Goals. We are glad to know that Ukraine is amongst those countries.
Schools across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have started to emerge from the lockdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventeen countries have resumed the 2021-2022 academic year, combining both in-person and remote learning. These are Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, the State of Palestine, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen. The three countries that have not yet opened their schools are: Iraq (excluding the Kurdistan Region of Iraq which reopened schools on 14 September, the rest of the country is expected to reopen on 1 November), Lebanon (some public schools partially opened the morning shift but not yet the afternoon shift for Syrian refugees) and Libya (announced that schools will reopen on 11 November).
The dual challenges of the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic compound on each other and are disproportionately impacting children in East Asia and Pacific. This calls for ambitious climate actions that help advance climate justice for current and future generations of children and support a green and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As stated by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the pandemic recovery is “a profound opportunity” to steer the world on “a path that tackles climate change, protects the environment, reverses biodiversity loss and ensures the long-term health and security of humankind”. Unless inclusive climate-smart solutions are prioritized in the recovery phase, there is a high risk of emissions rebounding and governments locking themselves in to a carbon-intense future, leaping from the COVID-19 frying pan into the climate fire. This working paper provides an economic analysis of climate and COVID-19 recovery policy measures in East Asia and the Pacific region and makes an investment case for accelerating ambitious and inclusive climate actions through national climate policies and COVID-19 recovery measures in East Asia and the Pacific and beyond.
Marco Valenza; Yacouba Dijbo Abdou; Thomas Dreesen
This regional situation analysis provides a snapshot of the educational responses and effects of COVID-19 across Asia and has been undertaken as part of the broader analysis initiated by UNICEF and UNESCO to assess the progress of countries in the region towards the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. This regional report is based on the findings of three sub-regional reports (East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia) and 14 case studies, which in turn are based on a comprehensive desk-review of qualitative and quantitative evidence, complemented by key informant interviews with relevant education officials, local authorities and teachers.
This sub-regional situational analysis provides a snapshot of the educational responses and effects of COVID-19 across East Asia based on a comprehensive desk-review of qualitative and quantitative evidence, complemented by key informant interviews with relevant education officials, local authorities and teachers across three countries in the sub-region (China, Japan and Republic of Korea).
The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting the provision of vital health, nutrition, education, child protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to women and children. UNICEF is conducting quarterly surveys to better understand the level of disruption to essential services for women and children, the reasons for these disruptions, and government response measures. This brochure provides an overview of the findings from the past three survey rounds and reveals that all countries – not only those with ongoing humanitarian response – continue to face some severe service disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous pressure on education systems around the world. While schooling and learning were interrupted for hundreds of millions of children worldwide, the pandemic also accelerated the provision of remote learning as a viable solution during emergency events. As school closures are not unique to the COVID-19 outbreak and can take place due to conflicts, disease outbreaks, natural or man-made disasters, strengthening the resilience of the education sector against these negative shocks is critical for human capital gains and inclusive and equitable education for all. A country-level assessment of educational resilience in relation to crises is essential to accelerate the efforts of the international community and national stakeholders in “building back better,” i.e., recovering from the learning losses caused by the disruption of in-person classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 lockdowns have significantly disrupted the daily lives of children and adolescents, with increased time at home, online learning and limited physical social interaction. This report seeks to understand the immediate effects on their mental health. Covering more than 130,000 children and adolescents across 22 countries, the evidence shows increased stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as increased alcohol and substance use, and externalizing behavioural problems. Children and adolescents also reported positive coping strategies, resilience, social connectedness through digital media, more family time, and relief from academic stress. Factors such as demographics, relationships and pre-existing conditions are critical. To ensure children and adolescents are supported, the report recommends building the evidence on the longer-term impact of the pandemic on child and adolescent mental health in low- and middle-income countries, including vulnerable populations.
Kalpana Vincent; Viviane Bianco; Sarah Fuller (et al.)
The return to face-to-face learning helps children return to a sense of normality, although different normality as prevention and control measures have likely altered school and classroom routines. It is important that schools should have a risk-mitigation strategy in place. Countries should ensure these strategies carefully balance the likely benefits for, and harms to, younger and older age groups of children when making decisions about implementing infection prevention and control measures. Any measure needs to be balanced with the even worse alternative of schools being closed and Any measure introduced by schools should follow standard protocols for implementation. This publication shares more detailed considerations for health and educational authorities on the public health and social measures to reopen schools as safely as possible.
Schools are essential for children’s learning, health, safety and well-being. But students’ learning suffered a major setback when most educational institutions reduced or cancelled in-person instruction and moved to remote learning and teaching to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Prolonged school closures continue to jeopardise the future of millions of children across the globe. The Europe and Central Asia Region is no exception. Schools should be the first to open and last to close. Getting children back in the classroom remains a priority for UNICEF and WHO Regional Offices, striking a balance between applying public health and social measures and ensuring that children are able to continue learning and socializing to the greatest extent possible. UNICEF and WHO have created several tools and resources to support countries in their back-to-school efforts. This joint UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (UNICEF/ ECARO) and WHO Regional Office for Europe Schooling Resource Pack has an easy-to-find compilation of materials to help parents/caregivers, teachers and students return to school safely.
Brian Keeley; Juliano Diniz de Oliveira; Tara Dooley
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns about the mental health of a generation of children. But the pandemic may represent the tip of a mental health iceberg – an iceberg we have ignored for far too long. The State of the World’s Children 2021 examines child, adolescent and caregiver mental health. It focuses on risks and protective factors at critical moments in the life course and delves into the social determinants that shape mental health and well-being. It calls for commitment, communication and action as part of a comprehensive approach to promote good mental health for every child, protect vulnerable children and care for children facing the greatest challenges.
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 violence against children and women during COVID-19.
The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
Subscribe to updates on new research about COVID-19 & children
COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response