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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 65
Child Poverty and Disparities in Ukraine

AUTHOR(S)
Nataliya Borodchuk; Liudmyla Cherenko

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2021

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.

COVID-19 and Child Marriage: How COVID-19’s impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Kate Shaw; Tendai Chigavazira; Tamara Tutnjevic

Institution: World Vision
Published: October 2021

How COVID-19's impact on hunger and education is forcing children into marriage. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, most experts estimated child marriage would continue for many more decades. Because the pandemic has increased poverty levels and hunger, and decreased access to education, the risk of girls becoming child brides is also increasing. This report pairs data from World Vision’s Youth Healthy Behaviour Survey with global literature to better understand the conditions which enable child marriage and how these conditions may be changing because of the global pandemic. The report analyzes 14,964 observations from children and youth aged 12 to 18 from World Vision programming sites in Ethiopia, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe. Case studies also provide insights into the lives of girls within these communities.

Psychological status associated with low quality of life in school-age children with neurodevelopmental disorders during COVID-19 stay-at-home period

AUTHOR(S)
Riyo Ueda; Takashi Okada; Yosuke Kita (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Frontiers in Psychiatry

This study seeks to ascertain how the COVID-19 stay-at-home period has affected the quality of life (QOL) of children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) who had experienced sleep schedules alteration and clarify what psychological status predicted low QOL in children with and without altered sleep patterns. Study participants were 86 children between 8 and 17 years of age (mean age, 11.7 years; 70 boys, 16 girls; mean intellectual quotient, 83.6). QOL was evaluated using the self-assessment KINDLR. Participants answered questions regarding depression and anxiety on a visual analog scale (VAS) for temporary mood. Their parents answered questionnaires regarding their maladaptive behaviors and differences in sleep patterns before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The student's t-test was performed to examine the presence or absence of sleep changes in the children, which affected QOL, temporary mood, and maladaptive behaviors. Multiple or simple linear regression analyses were also performed to identify the psychogenic factors that significantly affected decreased QOL for each group with and without changes in sleep schedule.

COVID-19 and health sector development plans in Africa: the impact on maternal and child health outcomes in Uganda

AUTHOR(S)
M. G. Atim; V. D. Kajogoo; D. Amare (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Risk Management and Healthcare Policy
Health Sector Development Plans (HSDPs) aim to accelerate movement towards achieving sustainable development goals for health, reducing inequalities, and ending poverty. Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) services are vulnerable to economic imbalances, including health insecurity, unmet need for healthcare, and low health expenditure. The same vulnerability influences the potential of a country to combat global outbreaks such as the COVID-19. This paper aimed to provide some important insights into the impacts of COVID-19 on RMNCH indicators and outcomes of the HSDP in Uganda.
The COVID-19 pandemic: adverse effects on the social determinants of health in children and families

AUTHOR(S)
Elissa M. Abrams; Matthew Greenhawt; Marcus Shaker (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

This study aims to describe the impact of social determinants on the experience of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within the pediatric population, how this impact may influence the long-term health and security of children, and what measures can be taken to ameliorate this impact moving forward. It is a nonsystematic review of relevant literature and news sources.

Changes in accessibility to emergency and community food services during COVID-19 and implications for low income populations in Hamilton, Ontario

AUTHOR(S)
Christopher D. Higgins; Antonio Páez; Gyoorie Kim (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Social Science & Medicine
This paper analyzes the changes in accessibility to emergency and community food services before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the City of Hamilton, Ontario. Many of these food services are the last line of support for households facing food insecurity; as such, their relevance cannot be ignored in the midst of the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic. This analysis is based on the application of balanced floating catchment areas and concentrates on households with lower incomes (<CAD40,000, approximately the Low Income Cutoff Value for a city of Hamilton's size).
Addressing Covid-19's uneven impacts on vulnerable populations in Bangladesh: the case for shock-responsive social protection

AUTHOR(S)
Sarah Sabin Khan; Sarah Amena Khan

Institution: United Nations Development Programme
Published: September 2021
As in many countries worldwide, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures aggravated poverty in Bangladesh. Poor and vulnerable population groups were among the hardest hit.  This brief draws on key findings from a UNDP Bangladesh survey on COVID-19 impacts during the pandemic’s first wave in early 2020. It covered 2,500 UNDP beneficiary households (HHs) across the country. In addition to severe income shocks, analysis reveals that the crisis amplified existing multidimensional vulnerabilities among HHs. Existing social safety net (SSN) programmes were inadequate to address different vulnerabilities. Against this backdrop, this brief underscores the need for Bangladesh’s continued attention on reforming its social protection system to make it more employment-focused, shock-responsive and universal in line with national priorities and for COVID recovery.
Undertaking rapid assessments in the COVID-19 context: learning from UNICEF South Asia

AUTHOR(S)
Deepika Ganju; Tom Pellens

Institution: *UNICEF
Published: September 2021
In order to quickly and repeatedly assess the COVID-19 situation and its impacts, UNICEF Country Offices across South Asia conducted a variety of rapid assessments or/and similar real-time evidence generating exercises from the start of the pandemic in 2020. This resulted in innovation and learning to adapt evidence generation to the context, needs and data collection constraints imposed by the pandemic. Drawing on the documented experiences of nine rapid assessments, covering six countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), insights with regard to the design and implementation of rapid assessments in a pandemic context have been documented to facilitate cross-country learning. The focus was on: data collection and analysis methodology, sampling strategy, partnership and stakeholder involvement, agility and timeliness, and the dissemination and use of the findings. Nine case study briefs were produced as well as a cross-case synthesis report.
“I Must Work to Eat”: Covid-19, poverty, and child labor in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda
Institution: Human Rights Watch
Published: September 2021

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the globe had made remarkable progress in reducing child labor. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the number of children in child labor decreased by approximately 94 million between 2000 and 2016, representing a drop of 38 percent. But as the pandemic caused massive school closures and unprecedented loss of jobs and income for millions of families, many children have entered the workforce to help their families survive, while others have been forced to work longer hours or enter more precarious and exploitative situations. Some have become their families’ primary breadwinners after losing a caregiver to Covid-19. Some despair of ever going back to school. This report examines the rise in child labor and poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic in three countries: Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda, the impact on children’s rights, and government responses. Each of the three countries has made significant progress reducing poverty and child labor in recent decades. Each has also made an explicit commitment as a “pathfinder” country to accelerate efforts to eradicate child labor in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Global, regional, and national progress towards Sustainable development goal 3.2 for neonatal and child health: all-cause and cause-specific mortality findings from the Global burden of disease study 2019
Published: September 2021   Journal: The Lancet
Sustainable Development Goal 3.2 has targeted elimination of preventable child mortality, reduction of neonatal death to less than 12 per 1000 livebirths, and reduction of death of children younger than 5 years to less than 25 per 1000 livebirths, for each country by 2030. To understand current rates, recent trends, and potential trajectories of child mortality for the next decade, we present the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 findings for all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality in children younger than 5 years of age, with multiple scenarios for child mortality in 2030 that include the consideration of potential effects of COVID-19, and a novel framework for quantifying optimal child survival.
Understanding patterns of food insecurity and family well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic using daily surveys

AUTHOR(S)
Samantha Steimle; Anna Gassman-Pines; Anna D. Johnson (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Child Development
This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample (61% Latinx; 16% White; 9% Black; 14% mixed/other race) of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents (90% mothers; mean age = 35 years) and their elementary school-aged children (ages 4–11; 49% female) in rural Pennsylvania (N = 272). Families participating in a local food assistance program reported on food insecurity (FI) and parent and child mood and behavior daily from January to May 2020. Longitudinal models revealed that FI, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only FI and parent depression later decreased. FI decreased most among those who received the local food assistance program; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt uniquely predicted decreases in child FI.
How to assess the child poverty and distributional impact of COVID-19 using household budget surveys: an application using Turkish data

AUTHOR(S)
Meltem A. Aran; Nazli Aktakke; Zehra Sena Kibar (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: The European Journal of Development Research
This study presents a methodology to predict the child poverty impact of COVID19 that can be readily applied in other country contexts where similar household data are available—and illustrates this case using data from Turkey. Using Household Budget Survey 2018, the microsimulation model estimates the impact of labour income loss on household expenditures, considering that some types of jobs/sectors may be more vulnerable than others to the COVID-19 shock. Labour income loss is estimated to lead to reductions in monthly household expenditure using an income elasticity model, and expenditure-based child poverty is found to increase in Turkey by 4.9–9.3 percentage points (depending on shock severity) from a base level of 15.4%. Among the hypothetical cash transfer scenarios considered, the universal child grant for 0–17 years old children was found to have the highest child poverty reduction impact overall, while schemes targeting the bottom 20–30% of households are more cost-efective in terms of poverty reduction. The microsimulation model set out in this paper can be readily replicated in countries where similar Household Budget Surveys are available.
Society to cell: how child poverty gets “under the skin” to influence child development and lifelong health

AUTHOR(S)
Kim L. Schmidt; Sarah M. Merrill; Randip Gill (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Developmental Review
Almost one in three children globally live in households lacking basic necessities, and 356 million of these children were living in extreme poverty as of 2017. Disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic further increase rates of child poverty due to widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families. Poverty leads to unequal distribution of power and resources, which impacts the economic, material, environmental and psychosocial conditions in which children live. There is evidence that poverty is associated with adverse child health and developmental outcomes in the short term, as well as increased risk of chronic diseases and mental illnesses over the life course. Over the past decade, advances in genomic and epigenomic research have helped elucidate molecular mechanisms that could in part be responsible for these long-term effects. This study reviews evidence suggestive of biological embedding of early life poverty in three, interacting physiological systems that are potential contributors to the increased risk of disease: the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, the brain, and the immune system. It also reviews interventions that have been developed to both eliminate childhood poverty and alleviate its impact on pediatric development and health.
The challenges of inequality and COVID-19 for young people in Peru: evidence from the listening to young lives at work COVID-19 phone survey

AUTHOR(S)
Kath Ford; Santiago Cueto; Alan Sanchez

Published: August 2021

This policy brief looks at the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of adolescents and young people in Peru as they transition into adulthood, focusing on how widening inequalities are hitting those from disadvantaged backgrounds hardest. Peru continues to suffer one of the highest per capita COVID-19 death rates in the world, despite an initial strict national lockdown between March and June 2020, and subsequent regional lockdowns between July and September 2020. A second set of regional lockdowns, and new related restrictions, have been introduced since January 2021, in response to an even more devastating second wave of infections. This brief investigates the broader economic and social impacts of the pandemic, presenting policy recommendations based on findings from the Listening to Young Lives at Work COVID-19 phone survey, conducted in the second half of 2020. It focuses on five key areas of impact: interrupted education and inequality in learning outcomes; unequal access to decent jobs; worsening mental health and well-being; specific implications for girls and young women, including increased domestic work burdens; and increasing risk of domestic violence. It is part of a series of national policy briefs drawing on findings from our 2020 COVID-19 phone survey.

The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2021

This year’s The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) summarizes the first global assessment of food insecurity and malnutrition for 2020 and offers some indication of what hunger and malnutrition would look like by 2030, in a scenario further complicated by the enduring effects of the pandemic. Nearly one-tenth of the world population – up to 811 million people went hungry in 2020. After remaining virtually unchanged for five years, world hunger increased last year. Further, it is projected that around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030, 30 million more people than in a scenario in which the pandemic had not occurred, due to lasting effects of COVID-19 on global food security. The setback makes the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal for zero hunger and ending all forms of malnutrition more challenging. The report indicates that progress has been made for some forms of malnutrition, but the world is not on track to achieve any global nutrition targets by 2030. Globally, 44 percent of infants under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed in 2019 – up from 37 percent in 2012 but the practice varies considerably among regions. Child malnutrition still persists at an alarming rate –an estimated 149 million children were stunted, 45 million were wasted and 39 million were overweight in 2020. The report presents new projections of potential additional cases of child stunting and wasting due to COVID-19. Based on a conservative scenario, it is projected that an additional 22 million children in low- and middle-income countries will be stunted, an additional 40 million will be wasted between 2020 and 2030 due to the pandemic. Comprehensive and urgent efforts are required to address the detrimental effects of the pandemic and achieve the 2030 global targets.

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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.