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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.
Liliana Marcos Barba; Hilde van Regenmortel; Ellen Ehmke
As 2020 draws to a close, the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating. Without urgent action, global poverty and inequality will deepen dramatically. Hundreds of millions of people have already lost their jobs, gone further into debt or skipped meals for months. Research by Oxfam and Development Pathways shows that over 2 billion people have had no support from their governments in their time of need. This study shows that none of the social protection support to those who are unemployed, elderly people, children and families provided in low- and middle-income countries has been adequate to meet basic needs. 41% of that government support was only a one-off payment and almost all government support has now stopped. Decades of social policy focused on tiny levels of means-tested support have left most countries completely unprepared for the COVID-19 economic crisis. Yet, countries such as South Africa and Bolivia have shown that a universal approach to social protection is affordable, and that it has a profound impact on reducing inequality and protecting those who need it most.
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