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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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What have we learnt? Findings from a survey of ministries of education on national responses to COVID-19
Institution: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
According to this new report published by UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank, schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle-income countries have already lost nearly four months of schooling since the start of the pandemic, compared to an average of six weeks among high-income countries. Compiling data from surveys on national education responses to COVID-19 from 149 countries between July and October, the report also finds that schoolchildren in low- and lower-middle income countries were less likely to have access to remote learning or to be monitored on a day-to-day basis by teachers and were more likely to have delays in their schools reopening.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 51 | Language: English | Topics: Education | Tags: education, government policy, COVID-19 response | Publisher: UNESCO, *UNICEF, The World Bank
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A neglected tragedy: The global burden of stillbirths 2020

There is a high risk that the COVID-19 pandemic may reverse decades-long progress on reducing child mortality and affect the number of stillbirths. This new release of the first-ever joint stillbirth estimates by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) presents the number of babies that are stillborn every year due to pregnancy and birth-related complications, the absence of health workers and basic services. The issue has become an essential part of global child survival initiatives. UNICEF calls on international organizations, governments and partners for increased and strong political will, sound policies and targeted investment along the continuum of care for every mother and child.

Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 90 | Language: English | Topics: Health, Child Protection | Tags: child mortality
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UNICEF’s social protection response to COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2020 UNICEF Publication
COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on children and their families, with current estimates suggesting that an additional 117 million children will be living in poverty by the end of 2020. Beyond income, the pandemic is deepening poverty across every dimension of a child’s life, including health, education, nutrition, housing, water and sanitation. Social protection is playing a crucial role in the response, with countries expanding their social protection coverage and expanding national cash transfer programmes. This report highlights UNICEF’s role in supporting governments with both the immediate social protection response and longer-term recovery. Our work encompasses 115 countries where UNICEF has supported governments in strengthening national systems reaching over 44 million households. The report outlines UNICEF’s key areas of expertise in social protection and country examples covering the range of our work across all regions.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 12 | Language: English | Topics: Child Poverty | Tags: social protection | Publisher: *UNICEF
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Resilience In Action: Lessons Learned From The Joint Programme During The Covid-19 Crisis
Institution: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund, *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
According to estimates by UNFPA, the COVID-19 pandemic may result in two million cases of female genital mutilation that would otherwise have been averted or a one third reduction in progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 5.3, the elimination of female genital mutilation by 2030. With limited research and documentation on the impact of humanitarian crises on female genital mutilation, the Joint Programme developed this brief to document lessons learned during the COVID-19 crisis. Drawing on rapid assessments and surveys, and consultations with country and regional offices, the brief presents Joint Programme strategies for adapting interventions to ensure business continuity in the face of the pandemic, and captures learning that will inform the programme’s future strategic planning. The brief is intended for staff, partners, and stakeholders working towards the elimination of female genital mutilation.
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Protect the progress: rise, refocus, recover
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Since the Every Woman Every Child movement was launched 10 years ago, there has been remarkable progress in improving the health of the world’s women, children, and adolescents, including reducing maternal and child mortality and improving child nutrition and education. However, conflict, climate instability, and the COVID-19 pandemic are putting all children and adolescents at risk . In particular, the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating inequities, with reported disruptions in essential health interventions disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable women and children.
This report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how fundamental good data are across sectors; that greater investments are needed to build resilient systems to provide high-quality and integrated services consistently; and COVID-19 recovery efforts  require multilateral action and continued investment in development.
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Accelerating results for children with technology and digital innovation
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
With the global emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, digital development has become an integral component of UNICEF’s work as national programmes shifted to distance and remote delivery means.

This report highlights examples of country-level COVID-19 response initiatives employing digital innovation and T4D approaches, in support of both its humanitarian action and development programmes. It further demonstrates how the scale-up of T4D’s strategic integration in programming and digital innovations has allowed UNICEF to support programme partners in closing gaps to meet children’s needs, often under complex environments, and in line with existing national systems. These initiatives span UNICEF programmes worldwide and help address children’s health, nutrition, education, protection, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and inclusion. 
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Levels & Trends in Child Mortality. United Nations Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) Report 2020
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation, The World Bank
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication

There have been dramatic reductions in child and youth mortality over the last 29 years. Globally, under-five mortality has dropped by 59% since 1990—from 93 deaths per 1,000 live births then to 38 deaths in 2019. Initial evidence suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on direct mortality for children and youth may be small, but indirect effects can be severe. Many life-saving services have already been disrupted by COVID-19. 

Levels and trends in child mortality
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
The progress in reducing child mortality around the world has been remarkable. Under-five mortality rates have declined by almost 60 per cent since 1990, and as a result millions more children survive to adolescence today than they did three decades ago. The impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, threatens years of improvement in child and adolescent survival through the interruption of essential health services. Even before the coronavirus captured the world’s attention, it was clear that if survival targets were to be met, resources and policy would need to be geared towards accelerating progress and not just maintaining it.
Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools: special focus on COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: September 2020 UNICEF Publication
Global school closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic affect up to 1.6 billion children and present an unprecedented risk to their education and well-being. WHO and UNICEF guidelines on infection prevention in schools identify a range of measures that need to be in place for schools to reopen and operate safely, including regular hand-washing with soap and water, daily disinfection and basic drinking water and sanitation services.
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Protecting children from violence in the time of COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication
This UNICEF publication, Protecting Children from Violence in the Time of COVID-19: Disruptions in prevention and response services, documents what has happened to such services across the world:
-1.8 billion children live in the 104 countries where violence prevention and response services have been disrupted due to COVID-19.
-Case management and home visits for children and women at risk of abuse are among the most commonly disrupted services.
-Around two thirds of countries with disruptions reported that at least one type of service had been severely affected; however, two thirds of countries reported that mitigating measures had been put into place.
In times of crisis, governments should prioritize maintaining or adapting critical prevention and response services to protect children from violence, including designating social service workers as essential and ensuring they are protected, strengthening child helplines, and making positive parenting resources available.
Cite this research | Open access | No. of pages: 20 | Topics: Child Protection | Tags: violence against children | Publisher: *UNICEF
Dashboard on government responses to COVID-19 and the affected populations
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication
Governments around the world have implemented a number of different measures in response to COVID-19 outbreaks. These include measures that aim to contain the spread of the virus (such as movement restrictions and border closings), measures to mitigate the economic consequences (such as income support), as well as measures related to the health system (such as testing policies and contact tracing). Billions of people are affected by these measures. Although children have been largely spared the direct health effects of COVID-19, the indirect impacts – including enormous socioeconomic challenges – are potentially catastrophic for children. For migrant and displaced children, the effects can be graver still.
COVID-19: Are children able to continue learning during school closures?
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: August 2020 UNICEF Publication

In response to the unprecedented educational challenges created by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 90 per cent of countries have implemented some form of remote learning policy. This factsheet estimates the potential reach of digital and broadcast remote learning responses, finding that at least 463 million students around the globe remain cut off from education, mainly due to a lack of remote learning policies or lack of equipment needed for learning at home. This data primarily stems from the UNESCO-UNICEF-World Bank Survey on National Education Responses to COVID-19 School Closures (June-July 2020), as well as household microdata from sources like Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS).

Children, HIV and AIDS, how will progress be impacted by COVID-19?
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: July 2020 UNICEF Publication

Coronavirus-related service disruptions threaten to reverse the decade-long progress made for children and pregnant women in the fight against HIV.

Immunization coverage: are we losing ground?
Institution: World Health Organisation, *UNICEF
Published: July 2020 UNICEF Publication
Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions to date, saving an estimated 2 to 3 million lives each year. As a direct result of immunization, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio, and deaths from measles – a major child killer – have declined by 73 per cent worldwide between 2000 and 2018, saving an estimated 23.2 million children’s lives. The emergence of COVID-19, however, threatens to reverse this progress by severely limiting access to life-saving vaccines.
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Yemen 5 years on: Children, Conflict and COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: June 2020 UNICEF Publication
Millions of children in Yemen could be pushed to ‘the brink of starvation’ due to huge shortfalls in humanitarian aid funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic – according to a new UNICEF report marking more than five years since conflict escalated in the country. Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19 warns that as Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably.
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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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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.