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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 116
“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.
Unmaskimg II: childhood lost
Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2021

To better understand the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the lives of vulnerable children in Asia and to make evidence-based policy and programming decisions, World Vision conducted a Rapid Assessment in May 2020. The assessment found that COVID-19 had grossly heightened the vulnerabilities of children in Asia. Families had been experiencing devastating loss of livelihood which led to limited access to food, essential medicines, and basic healthcare. The resulting strain on families increased incidences of physical abuse, early marriage, and the entry of children into exploitative work. The assessment recommended, for the next immediate period, that Asian governments scale-up social protection interventions, increase investment in public works programmes,  target the most vulnerable through government social assistance schemes, provide support to micro, small and medium enterprises, and scale up and provide skill-building for community health workers.

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.

Acute care visits for eating disorders among children and adolescents after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Alène Toulany; Paul Kurdy; Astrid Guttmann (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

Anecdotal reports suggest a significant increase in acute presentations of eating disorders among children and adolescents. This study aimed to compare the rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for pediatric eating disorders before and during the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using linked health administrative databases, it conducted a population-based repeated cross-sectional study of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for eating disorders among all children and adolescents aged 3–17 years, residing in Ontario, Canada.

Tracking the situation of children: a summary of UNICEF’s COVID-19 socio-economic impact surveys
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: October 2021

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.

Breastfeeding supportive practices in European hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Anne Merewooda , Riccardo Davanzob , Maetal Haas-Kogan Merewood; Riccardo Davanzo; Maetal Haas-Kogan (et al.)

Published: October 2021
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, international recommendations and guidelines regarding breastfeeding-supportive hospital practices changed frequently. For example, some recommended separation of mothers and infants; others, feeding pumped milk instead of milk fed directly from the breast. Many recommendations were inconsistent or in direct conflict with each other. Guidance from UENPS (the Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies) published in April 2020 recommended rooming in and direct breastfeeding where feasible, under strict measures of infection control, for women who were COVID-19 positive or under investigation for COVID-19.
COVID-19 pandemic shifts in food-related parenting practices within an ethnically/racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of families of preschool-aged children

AUTHOR(S)
K. A. Loth; Z. Jib J. Wolfson; J. M. Berge (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Appetite
This study aimed to evaluate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on food parenting practices used by parents of young children. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) was used to evaluate parents’ use of coercive, indulgent, structured, and autonomy supportive food parenting practices before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse racial/ethnic sample (n = 72) of parents of preschool-aged children. The impact of parent and child mood/behavior on use of specific food parenting practices was also evaluated during both time periods.
The West Africa inequality crisis: fighting austerity and the pandemic
Institution: Oxfam, Developmente Finance International
Published: October 2021
In 2019, Oxfam warned that West Africa’s governments were the least committed to reducing inequality on the continent, despite crisis levels of inequality.2 In 2021, using the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) framework devised by Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI), we have found that the average West African citizen still lives under a government least committed to fighting inequality in Africa. The CRI considers public spending; progressive taxation; protection of workers; policies to support agriculture and land rights; and approaches to debt distress; and the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank While West African governments’ indifference towards inequality would be a tragedy at any time, it is more so during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is worsening inequality. On the face of it, West Africa has fared relatively well through the pandemic so far. While infections have been lower than elsewhere, it is increasingly becoming clear that the pandemic risks becoming the region’s worst economic crisis in decades, pushing millions into poverty. No end is in sight due to the obscene global vaccine inequality, which means that less than 4% of West Africans have so far been fully vaccinated.
Pandemic-related parental distress: examining associations with family meals and child feeding practices during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Caroline E. West; Clarissa V. Shields; Kara V. Hultstrand (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Children's Health Care
The present study examined associations between COVID-19-related negative impact and parental distress and aspects of the home food environment. Parents (N= 189) of children ages 7–17 completed an online survey assessing COVID-19-related impact and distress, household meals, feeding practices, and weight concern. Results suggested an inverse association between impact and distress and structured meals and positive associations with both restrictive feeding practices and weight concern. Food insecurity significantly moderated the association between impact and structured meals and remains a necessary target for intervention. Future research should explore factors that may mitigate the impact of COVID-19-related distress on the home food environment.
COVID-19 and Food-related Outcomes in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Disparities by Income and Food Security Status

AUTHOR(S)
Anita A. Panjwani; Regan L Bailey; Bridgette L Kelleher

Published: September 2021   Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

Limited research suggests increased adverse behavioral outcomes, such as distractibility and hyperactivity, among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a result of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19); however, little is known about how the pandemic has impacted food-related behaviors among children with ASD. This study characterizes the impact of the pandemic on access to preferred foods and eating behaviors among children with ASD.

COVID-19-associated school closures and related efforts to sustain education and subsidized meal programs, United States, February 18–June 30, 2020

AUTHOR(S)
Nicole Zviedrite; Jeffrey D. Hodis; Ferdous Jahan (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Plos One
Pre-emptive school closures are frontline community mitigation measures recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for implementation during severe pandemics. This study describes the spatiotemporal patterns of publicly announced school closures implemented in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and assesses how public K-12 districts adjusted their methods of education delivery and provision of subsidized meals. During February 18–June 30, 2020, it used daily systematic media searches to identify publicly announced COVID-19–related school closures lasting ≥1 day in the United States (US).
SNAP participation among low-income US households stays stagnant while food insecurity escalates in the months following the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati; Francesco Acciai; Robin S. DeWeese

Published: September 2021   Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports
The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased food-insecurity rates, particularly among low-income households. Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was expected to rise in response. This study surveyed 931 US residents from households with annual incomes below $50,000 to collect information on food security and food assistance program participation in the year prior to the pandemic and in the first four months of the pandemic, along with household and individual-level demographics. Food insecurity increased from 31% prior to the pandemic to 39% in the first four months of the pandemic, while SNAP participation stagnated. Even more alarmingly, among low-income households that were also food-insecure, 47% participated in SNAP prior to the pandemic but only 39% did so in the first four months following the pandemic’s onset. In particular, Black households, households with children, and those in the lowest income category experienced the largest declines in SNAP participation. Food assistance programs designed to alleviate hunger should facilitate participation among the most vulnerable, especially when these groups are faced with multiple challenges, like during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online cross-sectional survey of complementary feeding practices during the COVID-19 restrictions in Poland

AUTHOR(S)
Andrea Horvath; Agata Stróżyk; Piotr Dziechciarz (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Nutrients
This cross-sectional online survey performed in Poland aimed to improve understanding of how COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affected complementary feeding practices among parents of infants aged 4 to 12 months. Self-selected parents were recruited through the internet. The anonymous questionnaire was opened during two intervals during COVID-19 restrictions. The primary outcome was an assessment of sources of information and infant feeding practices in the context of COVID-19 restrictions. Data from 6934 responders (92.2% mothers) were analyzed.
Breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
J. P. Dadhich; Nupur Bidla

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Neonatology
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious challenge to the lactating women to practice optimal infant and young child feeding. Although international and national agencies developed appropriate evidence-based guidelines early in the pandemic, availability of this information to the mothers and their caregivers needs to be enhanced. This becomes important in view of apprehension about the risk of a decline in breastfeeding practices during the pandemic due to various factors. Any decrease in the breastfeeding rates may lead to increased childhood morbidity, mortality, and malnutrition. This article provides a glimpse of available evidence-based guidelines on breastfeeding by Covid-19 positive mothers and attempts by the baby food industry to exploit the situation by promoting their products. The article also deals with infection prevention and control measures to be observed by the mother while caring and breastfeeding her baby and other action required to protect breastfeeding from commercial influence.
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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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.