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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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The risk to child nutrition during and after COVID-19 pandemic: what to expect and how to respond

James Ntambara; Minjie Chu

Published: April 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

This study aimed to address the key areas of concern for child nutrition, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and proposes strategic responses to reduce child undernutrition in the short and long term. A descriptive literature review was performed. The search of the literature was conducted through using electronic databases including PubMed, Web of science, google scholar, and Cochrane library.

Longitudinal patterns of food insecurity, the home food environment, and parent feeding practices during COVID-19

Elizabeth L. Adams; Laura J. Caccavale; Danyel Smith (et al.)

Published: April 2021   Journal: Obesiti Science and Practice

The economic impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) have drastically increased food insecurity in the United States. Initial data, collected a few months into the pandemic, showed that families, particularly those experiencing food insecurity, reported detrimental changes to their home food environment and parent feeding practices, compared to before COVID‐19. This follow‐up study obtained longitudinal data from a sample of parents in the United States to quantify changes in food security status, the home food environment, and parent feeding practices, from before to across COVID‐19 as the pandemic continued to persist.

Socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in low-income countries

Anna Josephson; Talip Kilic; Jeffrey D. Michler

Published: March 2021   Journal: Nature Human Behaviour
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and attempts to limit its spread have resulted in a contraction of the global economy. This study documents the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic among households, adults and children in low-income countries. To do so, it relies on longitudinal household survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda, originating from pre-COVID-19 face-to-face household surveys plus phone surveys implemented during the pandemic. 256 million individuals—77% of the population—are estimated to live in households that have lost income during the pandemic. Attempts to cope with this loss are exacerbated by food insecurity and an inability to access medicine and staple foods. Finally, this study finds that student– teacher contact has dropped from a pre-COVID-19 rate of 96% to just 17% among households with school-aged children. These findings can inform decisions by governments and international organizations on measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
GN briefing on COVID-19 and malnutrition
Institution: General Nutrition
Published: March 2021

The increase in malnutrition arising due to the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause nearly 170,000 additional child deaths in the next two years. Please, read that again, and understand that we are in the middle of a crisis within a crisis. This pandemic has created a fatal cycle: malnourished people are at a higher risk of death or hospitalisation from COVID-19, and the lockdown measures necessary to tackle the virus make it more difficult for people to access healthcare facilities and proper food, thus pushing them closer to malnutrition. Since nutrition underpins all of human flourishing, people in these regions are also under great economic, social, environmental and health strains, and may sink deeper into poverty as a result . Both COVID-19 and malnutrition have intense, long-term impacts, and challenge our ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are emergencies in the short and long term. To avoid this food crisis spiralling out of control, actions to prevent malnutrition must be adopted as an essential part of any COVID-19 response.

Working children in crisis-hit Lebanon: exploring the linkages between food insecurity and child labour
Food insecurity has increased significantly in Lebanon during the past year; nearly 97% of the Syrian refugees on Lebanese soil are marginally or completely food insecure. Food basednegative coping mechanisms have also increased and infant and young child feeding practices have deteriorated. Food is the main expenditure for the most vulnerable households. According to the last available figure on this topic (2016), at least 100,000 children were working in Lebanon and this trend is expected increase. The objective of this report is to draw attention to the linkage between food insecurity and child labour, and its recent evolution in Lebanon. ACF and IRC developed questionnaires and interviewed 648 individuals between July and September 2020 in the Bekaa, Beirut, North and South Lebanon. The interviewees were mostly Syrian refugees but also Lebanese individuals and working children were included. The survey findings were complemented by existing research findings from NRC and CAMEALEON and data from the Lebanon Protection Consortium (LPC).
Impact of the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19 on families with school-aged children in the United States: roles of income level and race

Cliff Yung-Chi Chen; Elena Byrne; Tanya Vélez

Published: March 2021   Journal: Journal of Family Issues
This study examined the experiences of families with school-aged children during the first three months of the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19 in the United States, while focusing on the roles of income level and race/ethnicity in their experiences. Two hundred and twenty-three parents of school-aged children participated in this study by completing an online survey.
Prevalence and potential consequences of child labour in India and the possible impact of COVID-19 – a contemporary overview

Navpreet Kaur; Roger W. Byard

Published: February 2021   Journal: Medicine, Science and the Law
Child labour is a global phenomenon occurring predominantly in countries with lower socioeconomic status and resources. Societal and familial poverty, loss or incapacitation/illness of parents, lack of social security and protection, and ignorance about the value of, or limited access to, education are among the myriad reasons for the involvement of children in the workforce. Child labour is a barrier to the development of individual children and their society and economy. Global estimates indicate that 152 million children (64 million girls and 88 million boys) are working, accounting for almost one in 10 of all children worldwide. Currently the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market consequences are having a major impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, impoverished families and their children are often the first to suffer, which may push many more vulnerable children into child labour situations. Child labour in India is more prevalent than in many other countries, with approximately 10 million children actively engaged in, or seeking, work. This paper focuses on the issue of child labour, its causes and its ill effects. Further, it also reviews the international legal framework relating to child labour and legislative issues in India.
The impact of COVID-19 measures on children with disabilities and their families in Uganda

Femke Bannink Mbazzi; Ruth Nalugya; Elizabeth Kawesa (et al.)

Published: January 2021   Journal: Disability & Society

This paper reports a study with families of children with disabilities in Uganda during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, known as COVID-19. Families of children with disabilities in Uganda are well informed about COVID-19 and try to follow prevention measures. Families of children with disabilities have difficulties meeting daily basic needs as they were unable to work and had no income during the COVID-19 related lock down. The COVID-19 response affects access to health and rehabilitation services for children with disabilities in Uganda. Parents of children with disabilities struggle with home education and learning due to lack of access to accessible learning materials and learning support in Uganda. The COVID-19 response affects the peer support networks and social support for parents of children with disabilities in Uganda. Children with disabilities and their families should be involved and considered in the development and implementation of the COVID-19 response.

Exploring parental responses to social and safety needs of school-age children during COVID-19 pandemic in Ogun State, Nigeria

Omolade O. Akinsanya; Olusegun S. Olaniyi; Peter O. Oshinyadi

Published: December 2020   Journal: Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment
The corona virus has emerged as a dreaded disease globally, and it is no longer a news that the virus is a killer disease. It has paralyzed individual and nations’ economic activities due to the governments’ orders made to curtail its spread. Based on this, the researchers explored parental responses to social and safety needs of their school children during the pandemic in Ogun State, Nigeria. Four research questions were raised, and a questionnaire titled “COVID-19 Pandemic and Parental Response to School Children Survey” (online) was used to elicit data from 5,340 respondents. The data collected were analyzed using frequency count, simple percentage, mean, standard deviation, and Analysis of Variance.
Impact of Covid-19 outbreak on children and women: Save the Children Somalia multi sector study
Institution: Save the Children Somalia
Published: December 2020

COVID-19 outbreak has presented an unprecedented impact on the livelihoods of millions of children and their parents around the world. The disease is spreading at an alarming rate. By 23rd July, 15 406 223 million people were infected globally and 631,030 had died of the disease. At the same time, Somalia had registered 3,161 positive cases and 93 deaths. To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on child protection, livelihoods, health, nutrition, gender, and gender-based violence (GBV), a comprehensive cross-sectional study was conducted. The study was conducted using data from 1,569 adults, 456 (235 boys and 221 girls) children aged between 12 to 17 years, in combination with 24 Key Informant Interviewees randomly selected from 17 regions (comprising 41 districts) out of the 19 regions in Somalia.

Impact of COVID-19 on child poverty, education, protection and health

Katarina Kotoglou

Institution: Save the Children
Published: December 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children’s lives and their rights in countries around the world. Sweeping measures such as school closures, home isolation, and social distancing have been implemented as a response to the pandemic, causing disruptions to children’s lives and impacting their right to survive, learn, and be protected.  Save the Children launched a global research study to generate evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent mitigation measures are affecting children’s health, nutrition, education and learning, protection and wellbeing, family incomes and jobs, and poverty. The research was implemented in 46 countries, making it the largest and most comprehensive survey of children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic to date. This report presents findings from the survey undertaken in Cambodia, between June and July 2020, with data from a sample of 730 caregivers and 730 children from the provinces of Pursat (Veal Veng district), Kampong Chhnang (Kampong Tralach) and Tboung Khmum (Ou Reang Ov district).

L'impact de la COVID-19 et Ebola chez les enfants en Republique democratique du Congo
Institution: Save the Children
Published: November 2020
The purpose of this study was to enable Save the Children to understand and identify the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ebola epidemic on children. This study, its results and recommendations will be shared with different stakeholders to adapt our responses and interventions to save thousands of children's lives.
Breaking point: COVID-19 and the child protection crisis in Afghanistan
Institution: World Vision
Published: November 2020
The children of Afghanistan, especially those already suffering from poverty and inequity, are among the most vulnerable to the harsh socio-economic impact of COVID-19. Child mortality, malnutrition, forced marriages, sexual abuse, child labour and other forms of violence and exploitation and are all common challenges for the average child. With the addition of COVID-19 and its immediate and secondary impacts, children are now more anxious and worried than ever before and at greater risk of facing physical, sexual and emotional violence, especially as the economic impacts of the crisis set in with poverty rates and hunger in the country rising.
COVID-19 and food security in Ethiopia: do social protection programs protect?

Kibrom A. Abay; Guush Berhane; John Hoddinott (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This paper assesses the impact of Ethiopia's flagship social protection program, the Productive Safety Net Program on the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food and nutrition security of households, mothers, and children. The analysis uses pre-pandemic, in-person household survey data and a post-pandemic phone survey. Two-thirds of the respondents reported that their incomes had fallen after the pandemic began, and almost half reported that their ability to satisfy their food needs had worsened. Employing a household fixed effects difference-in-difference approach, the study finds that household food insecurity increased by 11.7 percentage points and the size of the food gap by 0.47 months in the aftermath of the onset of the pandemic.
Adolescence in the time of COVID-19: evidence from Bangladesh

Sarah Baird; Jennifer Seager; Shwetlena Sabarwal (et al.)

Institution: The World Bank
Published: November 2020
This note examines the effects of COVID-19 and subsequent economic and educational disruptions on adolescent well-being in Bangladesh. The analysis is based on data from 2,095 in-school adolescents aged 10–18 collected pre-COVID-19 (February–March 2020) through a field survey for an ongoing impact evaluation, and a follow-up virtual survey undertaken early in the pandemic (May-June 2020). Findings show large household-level economic impacts associated with increased food insecurity, anxiety, and mental health issues among adolescents. In addition, school closures have decreased adolescents’ access to learning, increased time spent on household chores, and affected future job aspirations. The impacts are particularly large for girls and for adolescents from more vulnerable households. Policy makers need to consider policies that facilitate school return, targeting girls and the most vulnerable. They also need creative school-based programming to address the likely long-run physical and mental health effects of COVID-19 on young people.
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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.