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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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16 - 30 of 147
Inequality kills: The unparalleled action needed to combat unprecedented inequality in the wake of COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nabil Ahmed; Anna Marriott; Nafkote Dabi (et al.)

Institution: Oxfam
Published: January 2022

The wealth of the  world’s 10 richest men has doubled since the pandemic began. The incomes of 99% of humanity are worse off because of COVID-19. Widening economic, gender, and racial inequalities—as well as the inequality that exists between countries—are tearing our world apart. This is not by chance, but choice: “economic violence” is perpetrated when structural policy choices are made for the richest and most powerful people. This causes direct harm to us all, and to the poorest people, women and girls, and racialized groups most. Inequality contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds. But it is possible to radically redesign our economies to be centered on equality. It is possible to claw back extreme wealth through progressive taxation; invest in powerful, proven inequality-busting public measures; and boldly shift power in the economy and society. If we are courageous, and listen to the movements demanding change, we can create an economy in which nobody lives in poverty, nor with unimaginable billionaire wealth—in which inequality no longer kills.

Levels & trends in child mortality report 2021
Institution: *UNICEF, The World Bank, World Health Organisation
Published: December 2021

While the world was gripped by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, children continued to face the same crisis they have for decades: intolerably high mortality rates and vastly inequitable chances at life. In total, more than 5.0 million children under age 5, including 2.4 million newborns, along with 2.2 million children and youth aged 5 to 24 years – 43 per cent of whom are adolescents – died in 2020. This tragic and massive loss of life, most of which was due to preventable or treatable causes, is a stark reminder of the urgent need to end preventable deaths of children and young people. Data gaps remain a serious challenge to child mortality estimation and monitoring. Almost two thirds of low and middle income countries (97 out of 135) have no reliable mortality data in the past three years. And just 40 countries had high-quality national data for 2020 included in the estimation model, though national or subnational data were available for more than 80 countries or areas to help analyse excess mortality due to COVID-19.

Pre-pandemic to early-pandemic changes in risk of household food insecurity among Maryland families with children

AUTHOR(S)
Alysse J. Kowalski; Ann Pulling Kuhn; Hannah G. Lane (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Public Health Nutrition

The objective of this study was to examine risk and protective factors associated with pre- to early-pandemic changes in risk of household food insecurity (FI). Families from two statewide studies (2017-2020) in an observational cohort (May-August 2020) were re-enrolled. Caregivers reported on risk of household FI, demographics, pandemic-related hardships, and participation in safety net programs (e.g. CARES stimulus payment, school meals).

Reigniting opportunities for children in South Asia regional flagship report
Published: December 2021

Released to coincide with the 75th anniversary of UNICEF’s creation in 1946, the report, “Reigniting Opportunities for Children in South Asia,” highlights the terrible price children are paying not only as a result of COVID-19 but due to the climate crisis and humanitarian disasters affecting the region. Such has been the impact on children’s education, health care, nutrition, and protection services that the hopes and futures of an entire generation are at risk. In developed countries, COVID-19 vaccination rates are steadily increasing, and wealthier economies are recovering. But in South Asia, the picture remains bleak. Just 30 per cent of people in South Asia are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving families dangerously unprotected as new variants continue to emerge. While the region braces itself for future waves of the virus, more children and families are slipping into poverty.

Preventing a lost decade: urgent action to reverse the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children and young people
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: December 2021

Almost two years into the pandemic, the widespread impact of COVID-19 continues to deepen, increasing poverty and entrenching inequality. While some countries are recovering and rebuilding in a ‘new normal’, for many, COVID-19 remains a crisis. The human rights of all children are under threat to a degree that has not been seen in more than a generation. The global response so far has been deeply unequal and inadequate. The world now stands at a crossroads. The actions we take now will determine the well-being and rights of children for years to come. As we commemorate UNICEF’s 75th year, this report lays out the work in front of us by taking stock of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on children and the road to respond and recover to reimagine the future for every child.

Projecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child marriage

AUTHOR(S)
Joshua Yukich; Matt Worges; Anastasia J. Gage (et al.)

Published: December 2021   Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health

The study projects the potential impact of COVID-19 on child marriage in the five countries in which the burden of child marriage is the largest: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria. The projected impact of the pandemic on child marriage is based on a Markov model. A review of empirical and theoretical literature informed construction and parameter estimates of five pathways through which we expect an elevated marriage hazard: death of a parent, interruption of education, pregnancy risk, household income shocks, and reduced access to programs and services. Models are produced for an unmitigated scenario and a mitigated scenario in which effective interventions are applied to reduce the impact.

Early childhood teachers of color in New York City: heightened stress, lower quality of life, declining health, and compromised sleep amidst COVID-19

AUTHOR(S)
Mariana Souto-Manning; Samantha A. Melvin

Published: November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures to mitigate its spread affected every facet of education and society. The closure of sites of early care and education posed risks to the health, nutrition, social well-being, and emotional development of young children. In the U.S., threats to the quality of life and wellness of early childhood teachers and young children ages birth to eight (early childhood according to definition issued by the National Association for the Education of young children) intensified existing inequities. These inequities were visible in stigmatizing children and families in neighborhoods with high infection rates; trauma emanating from the death and bereavement of family members; loss of employment and economic hardships; more young children living in extreme poverty; disruptions to child protection services; and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress. Stress, anxiety, and disrupted sleep, expected responses to a threat as sizeable as the COVID-19 pandemic, were further exacerbated by racialized inequities in access and rates of vaccination
An examination of coping strategies and intent to leave child welfare during the COVID 19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Francie J. Julien‑Chinn; Colleen C. Katz; Eden Wall

Published: November 2021   Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Child welfare work is inherently difficult, and child welfare agencies are known to experience high rates of turnover. This study sought to expand the existing literature on intention to leave one’s child welfare agency and commitment to child welfare work through examining the coping mechanisms of frontline workers. Having and utilizing healthy coping mechanisms has proved beneficial to child welfare workers in previous research. This paper examined specific coping mechanisms identified in the Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessment and how they were associated with child welfare workers’ intent to leave their agency and their commitment to remain in the field of child welfare during the SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. Over 250 child welfare caseworkers were surveyed using the COHA instrument. Using both bivariate analysis and linear regression, specific coping mechanisms were identifyed, such as staying present with friends and family, as highly influential and discuss ways to strengthen these areas.
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.

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.
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on caregiver mental health and the child caregiving environment in a low-resource, rural context

AUTHOR(S)
Helen O. Pitchik; Fahmida Tofail; Fahmida Akter (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Child Development
Early child development has been influenced directly and indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these effects are exacerbated in contexts of poverty. This study estimates effects of the pandemic and subsequent population lockdowns on mental health, caregiving practices, and freedom of movement among female caregivers of children 6–27 months (50% female), in rural Bangladesh. A cohort (N = 517) was assessed before and during the pandemic (May–June, 2019 and July–September, 2020). Caregivers who experienced more food insecurity and financial loss during the pandemic reported larger increases in depressive symptoms (0.26 SD, 95% CI 0.08–0.44; 0.21 SD, 0.04–0.40) compared to less affected caregivers. Stimulating caregiving and freedom of movement results were inconsistent. Increases in depressive symptoms during the pandemic may have consequences for child development.
Time use of youth during a pandemic: evidence from Mexico

AUTHOR(S)
Cynthia Boruchowicz; Susan W. Parker; Lindsay Robbins

Published: September 2021   Journal: 149
Studying how the pandemic affects the education and work of adolescents is a critical question with long lasting implications for well-being of the next generation, particularly in the developing world. The Covid-19 pandemic by mid-March 2020 had led to the closing of most educational institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the region has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic (Sanmarchi et al., 2021). This paper uses the Mexican National Occupation and Employment Survey (ENOE) to provide evidence on the pandemic’s effects on school and work of youth. It measure changes in the time use of adolescents comparing patterns just before the pandemic (January to March 2020) with those at the beginning of the following school year (September 2020), controlling for pre pandemic trends and potential seasonality.
“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.

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.
16 - 30 of 147

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.