The corona pandemic is endangering decades of health, education, and other progress for children in South Asia. This is reported by the UN children’s rights fund, UNICEF.
The organization calls on governments to take urgent action and prevent millions of families from falling into poverty again in a new report released today, “Lives Upended.”
“The side effects of the pandemic in South Asia, including the lockdown and other measures, have been harmful to children in many ways. But the long-term impact of the economic crisis will be on a different scale,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia.
South Asia has seen rising prosperity in recent years. This has led to progress in health, education, and other assistance for children. That progress is now being compromised. UNICEF projections show that as many as 120 million more children will live in poverty in the next six months.
According to the report, vaccinations, nutrition, and other vital health services are severely disrupted. Many families, therefore, have to reduce their food consumption.
Access to education
Access to education is also likely to deteriorate sharply due to the pandemic. More and more children are at home without electricity or internet connection, so that distance learning cannot be used. In addition, home situations would also deteriorate significantly, leading to more children being victims of violence and child abuse.
UNICEF, therefore, calls on governments to immediately mobilize more resources for social protection measures, including universal emergency benefits for children and programs for nutrition through schools.