Some 77 percent of children under the age of 18 worldwide, or 1.8 billion, are living in one of the 132 countries with some form of movement restrictions in place due to COVID-19, according to a Unicef analysis. To mitigate this situation, the organization is appealing for US$1.6 billion to support its humanitarian response for children impacted by the pandemic.
The number is pretty up from $651.6 million requested in a similar appeal in late March. This increase reflects the devastating socioeconomic consequences of the disease and families’ rising needs. As the outbreak enters its fifth month, the costs for supplies, shipment, and duty of care are increasing dramatically.
For Henrietta Fore, Unicef Executive Director, the pandemic is a health crisis that is quickly becoming a child rights crisis. “Schools are closed, parents are out of work and families are under growing strain. As we begin to reimagine what a post-COVID world would look like, these funds will help us respond to the crisis, recover from its aftermath, and protect children from its knock-on effects.”
“We have seen what the pandemic is doing to countries with developed health systems and we are concerned about what it would do to countries with weaker systems and fewer available resources,” says Fore.
Unicef has so far received US$ 215 million in support of its response to the pandemic. The additional funding will help the organization build upon results already achieved.
The achieved results include:
Over 1.67 billion people reached with COVID-19 prevention messaging around handwashing and cough and sneeze hygiene;
- Over 12 million people reached with critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies;
- UNICEF has shipped more than 6.6 million gloves, 1.3 million surgical masks, 428,000 N95 respirators, 291,000 gowns, 13,000 goggles, 63,500 face shields, 200 oxygen concentrators and 34,500 diagnostic tests for COVID-19, in support of 52 countries as they respond to the pandemic;
- Nearly 80 million children reached with distance or home-based learning;
- Over 10.9 million children and women receiving essential healthcare services in UNICEF supported facilities; and
- Over 830,000 children, parents and caregivers provided with community-based mental health and psychosocial support.