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Since the first identified case on 2 March 2020 until 13 July 2021, more than 1,200 people have lost their lives, meaning that too many boys and girls suffered the tragic and permanent loss of a grandparent, parent, caregiver or loved one. More than 46,860 persons tested positive, implying that and even greater number of loved ones might have fallen ill, making it hard for them to care for family, keep plans or sustain employment. Meanwhile, almost every household in Senegal was affected by restrictions designed to contain the first wave. While the strict measures were largely successful in limiting the spread of the virus, they also affected key sectors of the economy, disrupted supply chains and markets, and affected both the demand for, and availability of, social services. Essentially, COVID-19 impacted almost every aspect of life, particularly in the first quarter of 2020, which we now recognize as the first “leg” in a multi-year, planet-wide marathon to outpace the pandemic. With the closure of schools and disruption of many basic services, child protection mechanisms also lapsed, triggering a crisis for children with considerable socio-economic costs.
Julie Mwabe; Karen Austrian; Sheila Macharia
This new report is one of the first in the world to look exclusively at the impact of COVID-19 on adolescents’ lives. It leverages data collected on the social, education, health, and economic effects of COVID-19 on adolescents in June 2020 and again in February 2021, and features contributions and recommendations from girls and boys who are part of advisory groups in Nairobi, Kisumu, Kilifi and Wajir counties, where the data was collected.
Jack N. Losso; MerryJean N. Losso; Marco Toc (et al.)
Ali B. Mahmoud; Dieu Hack-Polay; Leonora Fuxman (et al.)
Jonathan Koltaia; Veronica Toffolutti; Martin McKee (et al.)
Ioannis D. Morres; Evangelos Galanis; Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis (et al.)
Cara D. Dolin; Charlene C. Compher; Jinhee K. Oh (et al.)
Farhana Alam; Md Sajib Rana; Samira Ahmed Raha (et al.)
This study is part of a cross-country series designed to share emerging findings in real time from qualitative interviews with adolescents and school teachers in the context of covid-19. Our sample for this study was purposefully selected from an ongoing baseline GAGE impact evaluation study, and includes two cohorts: younger adolescents (10–14 years) and older adolescents (15–19 years), all of whom are in-school (grades 7 and 8). Adolescent respondents were drawn from both urban and rural schools in Chittagong and Sylhet divisions of Bangladesh. The objectives of the research are as follows: 1) to understand adolescents’ experiences of transition from childhood to adulthood, and to identify differences in their experiences by age, gender, disability and geographic location; 2) to identify adolescents’ knowledge of covid-19, and how the pandemic response has affected adolescent lives. To inform the pandemic response, this study aims to understand adolescents’ knowledge, perceptions and practices during the covid-19 pandemic, their challenges and worries, and the coping mechanisms they are using to deal with the evolving situation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the world’s population. Although it has been established that children are at lower risk of falling seriously ill with COVID-19, the pandemic has had, and continues to have, far-reaching effects on them. The pandemic poses a health crisis that has become a child rights’ crisis. It is heightening the impact of conflict and climate change on children. In sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 is exacerbating not only existing threats to the future that 550 million children face, but also measures put in place to control and contain the disease. While the arrival of the first vaccines brings hope to put an end to the pandemic, it will take time before these vaccines can reach everyone who needs them. This report sheds light on the various ways children in sub-Saharan Africa have been affected by the ongoing pandemic and how UNICEF and partners have been supporting them. The report also is a call to action to governments and the international community to take concerted action to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated control measures, and build forward a better world fit for children.
Samira Ahmed Raha; Md. Sajib Rana; Saklain Al Mamun Al Mamun (et al.)
This research is part of the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme, a nine-year, mixed methods longitudinal research and evaluation programme following the lives of 20,000 adolescents in six low- and middle-income countries. BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (BRAC JPGSPH) and the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) partnered to carry out rapid-response research in Dhaka to gain an understanding of vulnerable and underprivileged adolescents’ lives during the pandemic. This policy brief presents findings from the second round of data collection which included 30 in-depth interviews with adolescents living in three sites in Dhaka. Findings show inequalities in access to and continuation of distance education, negative effects in psychosocial well-being, unequal access to digital connectivity, financial constraints, with inequalities between different socio-economic classes, gender and age groups, which put them at risk of discontinuing education, entering into child labour and also early marriage.
Over recent decades, South Asia has made remarkable progress in
improving the health of mothers and children. But the year 2020 brought a
great shock to South Asia, as it did to the whole world. The COVID-19
pandemic has had major and multiple impacts – both direct and indirect.
One of the critical indirect impacts has been severe disruptions to the
delivery and use of routine services, including essential health and
nutrition services. The region saw significant drops in the use of both
preventive and curative services. Direct and Indirect Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic and Response in South Asia uses
a series of exercises based on actual observed changes in services and
intervention coverage to model impacts on mortality, hospitalizations,
and ICU admissions due to COVID-19. It also models the impact of
nationwide stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 on
maternal and child mortality, educational attainment of children, and
the region’s economy. The study focuses on South Asia’s six most
populous countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and
Sri Lanka and makes the case for interventions and strategies to
minimise these indirect consequences.
Compounding the COVID-19 pandemic is a looming debt crisis for low- and middle-income countries where a growing debt burden threatens to crowd out social spending for children.
This policy brief explores whether the current support from the international community is enough to maintain spending on basic services during COVID-19. It highlights countries that are most at risk due to high levels of poverty, as well as those less likely to benefit from the G20 Debt Standstill (DSSI). It concludes that a new international debt restructuring architecture, which encompasses the needs of poorer countries, is crucial to protecting children’s rights in the wake of COVID-19.
Evidence and objective assessment are needed more than ever
to help enhance the rights and well-being of the world’s children. Researching the changing world around us and evaluating progress are two sides of the same coin, both critical to reimagining a better future for children. In recognition of this,
UNICEF celebrates and showcases innovative and influential research and
evaluations from our offices around the world every year. For 2020, Innocenti and the
Evaluation Office joined forces to find the most rigorous UNICEF studies with
greatest influence on policies and programmes that benefit children.
Erin Oakley; Sarah Baird; Mohammad Ashraful Haque (et al.)
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.
Read the latest quarterly digest on children and youth mental health under COVID-19.
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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response