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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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Emergency food security monitoring system: measuring the impact of Covid-19 on food security and vulnerability in Sierra Leone
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: October 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak is posing an unprecedented context that has greatly tested the resolve and resilience of the global population. Whilst Sierra Leone may not have recorded a high COVID-19 caseload, the impact on economic and social activities has evidently been profound, triggering the not too distant memories of the 2014-15 Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. The June 2020 Emergency Food Security Monitoring System again provides critical and timely data to enhance our understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerability and food security. Concerningly, the E-FSMS again shows an increase in the proportion of food insecure Sierra Leoneans, from 47 percent in January 2020 to 63 percent in June 2020, demonstrating the considerable impact of COVID-19 on households that rely on fragile livelihoods.
The importance of investing in the wellbeing of children to avert the learning crisis
Institution: UNESCO, World Food Programme, *UNICEF, World Health Organisation
Published: October 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion school-age children in more than 190 countries. Already last year, 250 million school-age children being out of school, the world was facing a “learning crisis”. But now with the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis could turn into a generational catastrophe. While many children will continue with their education once schools reopen, others may never return to school. Current estimates indicate that 24 million children will never return to the classroom and among those, disproportional number of girls. To avert this crisis, we need to reimagine how we deliver good quality and inclusive education to the world children. Among other things, this calls for urgent investments in school health and nutrition programmes and create the conditions for children to lead healthy lives. This also includes health and nutrition literacy offered through the curriculum and through counselling in the school health services which provides young people with knowledge, skills, values, culture and behaviours they need to lead healthy, empowered lives.

Global report on food crises update: in times of COVID-19
This report provides an update of acute hunger, its main drivers and how COVID-19 contributes to their perpetuation or deterioration. Sixteen partner organizations contributed to the report.
The hidden impact of COVID-19 on children's health and nutrition

AUTHOR(S)
Adetayo Omoni; Paul Rees-Thomas; Shahab Ali Siddiqu (et al.)

Institution: Save the Children
Published: September 2020
This report is one in a series presenting findings from the Global COVID-19 Research Study. The study focuses on implications  of COVID 19 for children’s health and nutrition, drawing on data from our representative sample of 17,565 parents/caregivers and 8,069 children in our programme participants group. The research presents differences in impacts on and needs of children by region, age, gender, disability, minority group, indicators of poverty and more. This study research was implemented in 46 countries and resulted in the largest and most comprehensive survey of children and families during the COVID-19 crisis to date, with 31,683 parents and caregivers and 13,477 children aged between 11 and 17 participating in the research.
Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security in Africa
In addition to its drastic impact to human health globally, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the economies globally and notably in Africa. Countries on the continent have taken various measures to try and contain the spread of COVID-19 such as lockdowns, curfews, closure of borders and other movement restrictions including quarantines and roadblocks, closure of markets, fear of animals, among others. Early indications suggest that the impact on agriculture and food security and levels of poverty and malnutrition will be significant if urgent actions are not taken. Although the economic impacts of COVID-19 will be more significant than the SARS epidemic, the H1N1 flu epidemic and the Ebola epidemic, COVID-19 impact on economic well-being will be observed through two distinct but similar channels. First are the direct and indirect effects of the sickness and mortality, which will lead to an increase in health care costs and loss of economic activity of infected individuals during their illness. Second, are the behavioral effects resulting from people’s fear of contagion and measures taken by governments to control the spread of the infection. The impacts of essential containment/isolation and distancing measures on social and economic well-being are yet to be realized and could have tremendous effects, notably among the most vulnerable.
Disaster risk reduction in times of COVID-19: What have we learned?

AUTHOR(S)
Wirya Khim

Published: August 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has more than ever shown the changing risk environment, as well as the systemic and overlaying nature of risks that affect and threaten all sectors. It has reinforced the call for multi-sectoral, multi-hazard and preventive and anticipatory approaches that consistently integrate disaster, climate and crisis risk management for strengthening the resilience of people, their agricultural livelihoods and the ecosystems they depend on in a sustainable manner. In her opinion paper, FAO Natural Resources Officer Wirya Khim discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the agriculture and food systems through a disaster risk reduction lens and offers some key lessons learned that are geared toward evidence-based and risk-informed interventions for inclusive, resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Overweight and obesity - in the context of COVID-19
Institution: World Food Programme
Published: August 2020
Following the release of the WFP COVID-19 Medium-term programme framework (MTPF), the Nutrition Division has developed a number of guidance tools and documents related to the MTPF pillars of work. The Overweight and obesity in the context of COVID-19 technical note and guidance aims to support WFP's work in the area of promoting healthy and nutritious diets, and preventing all forms of malnutrition. Note that this is part of the forthcoming guidelines on overweight and obesity prevention, highlighting the key role that WFP can play across the various systems – food, health, social protection and education systems.
FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity hotspots

This FAO-WFP early warning analysis of acute food insecurity hotspots report highlights countries which are at risk of significant food security deterioration and in particular acute hunger and associated malnutrition. The analysis takes into account all major drivers of food insecurity, with a particular focus on the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides a forward-looking perspective, outlining the likely evolution of impacts over the next 6 or so months aiming to inform urgent action to safeguard food security of the most vulnerable communities in these locations. The report is divided into three sections. It firstly includes an overview of the main pathways of secondary impacts of COVID-19 on food security, nutrition, and agriculture. This is followed by regional overviews and a focus on hotspot countries. The last section lists strategic recommendations which should be urgently implemented to avoid a large scale deterioration of acute food insecurity.

The state of food security and nutrition in the world 2020

Updates for many countries have made it possible to estimate hunger in the world with greater accuracy this year. In particular, newly accessible data enabled the revision of the entire series of undernourishment estimates for China back to 2000, resulting in a substantial downward shift of the series of the number of undernourished in the world. Nevertheless, the revision confirms the trend reported in past editions: the number of people affected by hunger globally has been slowly on the rise since 2014. The report also shows that the burden of malnutrition in all its forms continues to be a challenge. There has been some progress for child stunting, low birthweight and exclusive breastfeeding, but at a pace that is still too slow. Childhood overweight is not improving and adult obesity is on the rise in all regions.The report complements the usual assessment of food security and nutrition with projections of what the world may look like in 2030, if trends of the last decade continue. Projections show that the world is not on track to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and, despite some progress, most indicators are also not on track to meet global nutrition targets. The food security and nutritional status of the most vulnerable population groups is likely to deteriorate further due to the health and socio economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiji gender, disability and inclusion analysis COVID-19 and TC Harold

AUTHOR(S)
Anna Cowley; Sally Baker; Charlie Damon

COVID-19 and TC Harold have severely affected Fijians’ short and long-term resilience as many are resorting to the use of detrimental coping strategies such as reduction in food intake, barter of assets, reduction of expenditure on health or education. Social protection schemes for marginalised groups exist but are limited and access was restricted by COVID-19 preventative measures, particularly for people with disabilities.
Food system policy priorities and programmatic actions for healthy diets in the context of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created supply and demand shocks in the food systems, disproportionately affecting the poor and nutritionally vulnerable groups. A possible economic slowdown further compounds challenges faced by governments in tackling malnutrition in all its forms.This brief presents policy and programmatic actions adopted by countries and development partners to ensure that food and agriculture responses promote healthy diets and improve nutrition. Furthermore, this brief explains supply and demand measures, taken from recent worldwide good practices.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in food crises

At the beginning of April, the 2020 edition of the Global Report on Food Crises was issued, presenting a stark warning for the future. In 2019 – prior to the COVID-19 pandemic – 135 million people experienced crisis and worse levels of acute food insecurity. A further 183 million were on the edge in stressed food security conditions – in other words, just one shock away from severe acute food insecurity. COVID-19-related restrictions risk pushing many more into crisis. As the pandemic progresses in food crisis contexts, food availability as well as food access could emerge as a serious concern – in both rural and urban areas.The Global COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan has been revised significantly upwards to reflect the increasingly urgent need to address non-health impacts of COVID-19. Of these needs, the food security sector represents the largest component, for a total of USD 1.6 billion. As part of this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is seeking USD 350 million to ensure the provision of critical assistance where there are already high levels of need, while meeting new needs emerging from the effects of COVID-19.

Urban fod systems and COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting urban food systems worldwide, affecting the food security and nutrition of urban populations. With up to 70% of the global food supply destined for urban consumption, the disruption of urban food systems has particularly affected the food distribution and the food retail sectors. The management of the crisis by city and local governments can therefore play a major role in preventing the spread of the virus and, at the same time, in mitigating the disruptions in their food systems and any negative effects on vulnerable populations. It was consequently deemed very important for FAO to map the municipal responses to the emergency, and to analyze progress and setbacks in managing disruptions in the urban food systems and related implications for food security and nutrition. Such understanding will strengthen the evidence-base on which countries will build policies and programmes dealing with the crisis and its effects. It will also provide valuable information on how to strengthen the performance and resilience of urban food systems.
Food systems and COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
The COVID-19 pandemic points out some changes in the consumption patterns of the population. It appears that consumers have tended to prefer less nutritious, less fresh and more economical diets. Such a decision could be explained by a significant decrease in household income and the mobility restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Healthy eating minimises the risk of disease. That hasn't changed during the pandemic. Governments' initiatives must, therefore, aim at a healthier diet, ensuring access to fresh and nutritious products for people, promoting communication campaigns that value healthy eating and, finally, facilitating the marketing of fresh and quality products produced locally by small and medium producers
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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.