According to the report “Children in monetary poor households and COVID-19: Technical Note” released jointly by the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) & Save the Children, a United Kingdom (UK) based non-profit organisation which works for child rights, the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic may increase the number of children living in poor households in low- and middle-income countries by 86 million (or an increase of 15%) to reach 672 million by the end of 2020.
i.According to the report, 2/3 of these children falling in the poverty line live in all of Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. It states that poverty in Europe and Central Asia can increase up to 44 % & in Latin America and the Caribbean, it will increase by 22 %.
ii.As per UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, the progress made so far in reducing poverty in children will be behind many years. Hunger and malnutrition can have a greater impact on these children in a short time & they will be deprived of essential services.
However, by taking immediate and decisive steps, the impact of the epidemic on poor countries can be prevented. This in turn will also save the children most affected by the epidemic.
iii.Both organizations warned that the impact of the epidemic and the global economic crisis would be twofold, means the income of the families will decrease so that people will not be able to take even basic facilities. In such a situation, the risk of child marriage, violence, exploitation and abuse can increase.
iv.Way forward: UNICEF and Save the Children have requested all governments to expand their social security system including cash transfers, child benefits & accelerate providing food to children in schools, so that the impact of the epidemic can be reduced.
About Save the children :
Chief Executive Officer– Bidisha Pillai
About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
President of UNICEF Executive Board-H.E. Ms. Rabab Fatima.
Headquarters– New York, US
Parent organization– United Nations General Assembly