COVID-19 Fallout: Hundreds Of Thousands Of Additional Child Deaths This Year, Says UN

United Nations: Coronavirus and the global recession will have a grave impact on the world’s children, says the UN. It could cause hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths this year and push millions of children into extreme poverty,  a new ‘Policy Brief: The impact of COVID-19 on children’ released on Thursday by theUN said.

It said an estimated 42-66 million children could fall into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis this year, adding to the estimated 386 million children already in extreme poverty in 2019.

“Children are not the face of this pandemic. But they risk being among its biggest victims. While they have thankfully been largely spared from the direct health effects of COVID-19 – at least to date – the crisis is having a profound effect on their wellbeing,” said the brief.

Economic hardship experienced by families as a result of the global economic downturn could result in a hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths in 2020, reversing the last 2 to 3 years of progress in reducing infant mortality within a single year.

The brief said that there are three main channels through which children are affected by this crisis:

  • Infection with the virus itself
  •  The immediate socioeconomic impacts of measures to stop transmission of the virus and end the pandemic
  • The potential longer-term effects of delayed implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Apart from that, the pandemic has led to a learning crisis as 188 countries have imposed countrywide school closures, affecting more than 1.5 billion children and youth. The brief further added that rising malnutririon is expected as 368.5 million children across 143 countries who normally rely on school meals for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now look to other sources.


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