COVID-19 Might Push 120 mn Children Into Poverty in South Asia, Including India- UNICEF
COVID-19 Might Push 120 mn Children Into Poverty in South Asia, Including India- UNICEF

COVID-19 Might Push 120 mn Children Into Poverty in South Asia, Including India- UNICEF

  • An estimated 120 million children living in South Asian countries, including India, could slip into poverty within the next six months due to the Covid-19 crisis, taking the total number of such kids in the region to 360 million, according to a new UNICEF report.
  • The report — Lives Upended – How Covid-19 threatens the futures of 600 million South Asian Children — covers eight South Asian countries namely Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. It says that an estimated 240 million children already live in “multi-dimensional” poverty — including factors such as poor health, lack of education, poor sanitation and poor quality of work in these countries.
  • An additional 120 million children could be pushed into poverty due to the Covid crisis, taking the total number to 360 million, it says. The reports also flags the negative impact of the Covid-related disruption to vaccination, nutrition and other vital health services.
  • Quoting research by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it said, “In the worst-case scenario, South Asia could see the additional deaths of as many as 881,000 children aged 5 or under and that of 36,000 mothers over the next twelve months. The bulk of these deaths would occur in India and Pakistan, although Bangladesh and Afghanistan could also see significant levels of additional mortality.”
  • UNICEF India Representative Yasmin Haque said there is a need to get core essential services going as soon as possible.
  • “It is really about as fast as possible we can boost the core essential services for children. Malnutrition is already an existing problem in India and we have seen a lot of energy going into Poshan Abhiyan so we need to get back to that energy level. We need to look how anganwadi centres will function in a Covid era.
  • She further said that additional budget and spending will be needed to make up for the days lost.
  • “It is going to need an acceleration not just in health but also in panchayat and sarpanch level,” she said.
  • The report pointed out that India and Nepal, among others, face a particular problem: hundreds of schools being designated as quarantine centres.
  • “Communities will need to be reassured that these schools have been safely disinfected before children are allowed back to class,” it said. Haque said children dropping out is also a concern.


The United Nations Children’s Fund is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world, with a presence in 192 countries and territories.UNICEF’s activities include immunizations and disease prevention, administering treatment for children and mothers with HIV, enhancing childhood and maternal nutrition, improving sanitation, promoting education, and providing emergency relief in response to disasters.

  • Founded – 11 December 1946
  • Headquarters – NewYork, US
  • President– Rabab Fatima(Bangladesh)
  • Executive Director– Henrietta H. Fore

About United Nations-

The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.

  • Founded – 24 October 1945
  • Headquarters – New York, United States
  • Secretary general– António Guterres

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