New York, December 9, 2021 – Covid-19 has affected girls and boys on an unprecedented scale, making it the worst crisis for children in UNICEF’s 75-year history, the UN children’s agency said in a report released today.
The report Preventing a Lost Decade: Urgent Steps to Prevent the Destructive Effects of COVID-19 on Children and Youth (Preventing a Lost Decade: Urgent Action to Reverse the Destructive Impact of Covid-19 on Children and Youth – Available in English only) Access to education, nutrition, child protection and mental well-being. He warns that almost two years after the outbreak of the epidemic, the widespread impact of Covid-19 continues to deepen, increasing poverty, consolidating inequality and threatening children’s rights in a way that has never been seen before.
“Throughout our history, UNICEF has helped create a healthy and safe environment for children around the world, with tremendous results for millions of people,” said Henrietta Four, Executive Director of UNICEF. “These benefits are now at risk. The Kovid-19 epidemic has become the biggest threat to children’s progress in our 65-year history. While the number of children who are hungry, out of school, abused, living in poverty or forced into marriage is increasing, the number of children receiving health care, vaccines, adequate food and essential services is declining. The year we should look forward to, we are going backwards. “
According to the report, an estimated 100 million more children are now living in multidimensional poverty due to the epidemic, which has increased by 10% since 2019. This corresponds to approximately 1.8 babies per second from mid-March 2020. In addition, the report warns that there is a long way to go to recover lost land – even in the best of circumstances, it will take seven to eight years for recovery and pre-epidemic child poverty to return.
Citing further evidence of regression, the report said an additional 60 million children were now living in poor families compared to the previous epidemic. In addition, in 2020, more than 23 million children missed out on essential vaccines – an increase of nearly 4 million from 2019 and the highest number in 11 years.
Even before the epidemic, an estimated 1 billion children worldwide were at least severely deprived without access to education, health care, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water. This number is now increasing as unequal recovery is spreading inequality between rich and poor children, with the most marginalized and vulnerable children being the most affected. Report Note:
- At its worst, there were more than 1.6 billion students Well done and you Due to the closure of educational institutions in the countries. In the first year of the crisis, schools around the world were closed for about 80% of the school year.
- Conditions related to it Mental health It affects more than 13% of girls and boys aged 10 to 19 worldwide. As of October 2020, the epidemic has disrupted or suspended essential mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide.
- Up to 10 million Child marriage The Covid-19 epidemic could result in additional payments before the end of the decade.
- The number of children in Child labor 160 million worldwide – 8.4 million children have grown in the last four years. An additional 9 million children are at risk of being forced into child labor by the end of 2022 as a result of growing poverty due to the epidemic.
- At the height of the epidemic, 1.8 billion children lived in 104 countries Violence prevention and response services Was severely disrupted.
- 50 million children are suffering from severe malnutrition, which is the most severe form MalnutritionAnd by 2022, that number could rise to 9 million due to the impact of the epidemic on children’s food, nutrition services and eating habits.
In addition to the epidemic, the report warns of other threats to children that pose an extreme threat to their rights. Globally, 426 million children – one in five – live in conflict zones that are becoming more and more vulnerable to civilian casualties, affecting children disproportionately. Women and girls are at risk of conflict-related sexual violence. Eighty percent of all human needs are conflict-driven. Similarly, an estimated 1 billion children – about half the world’s children – live in countries that are at “extremely high risk” from the effects of climate change.
To respond to, recover and re-imagine the future of every child, UNICEF continues to ask:
- Investment in social security, human capital and costs for an inclusive and resilient recovery;
- Ending the epidemic and reversing the critical impact on children’s health and nutrition – including through UNICEF’s significant role in delivering the Covid-19 vaccine;
- Ensuring strong restructuring, quality education, protection and good mental health for all children;
- Creating resilience to better prevent, respond to, and protect children from crisis, including new approaches to hunger control, protecting children from climate change, and redesigning disaster spending.
“In an era of growing epidemics, growing conflicts and climate change, the child-first approach has never been more critical than it is today,” Four said. “We are at a crossroads. As we work with governments, donors and other agencies to determine our common path for the next 75 years, children must receive the first investment and cut the last. Our commitment to the future depends on our current priorities. “
Notes to editors:
The report is available for download Here
Multimedia content available for download Here