Due to Covid-19 Impact – 672 Million Children will be trapped in the Poverty by the end of 2020
- The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic could push up to 86 million more children into household poverty by the end of 2020, an increase of 15 per cent, according to a new analysis released today by Save the Children and UNICEF.
- The analysis highlights that, without urgent action to protect families from the financial hardships caused by the pandemic, the total number of children living below the national poverty line in low- and middle-income countries could reach 672 million by year-end. Nearly two-thirds of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
- Countries across Europe and Central Asia could see the most significant increase, up to 44 per cent across the region. Latin America and the Caribbean could see a 22 per cent increase.
- The pandemic-driven increase is expected to occur mainly in Europe and Central Asia, according to the study, which is based on World Bank and International Monetary Fund projections and population data from some 100 countries.
- “The scale and depth of financial hardship among families threatens to roll back years of progress in reducing child poverty and to leave children deprived of essential services,” UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore is quoted as saying in the statement.
- With immediate and decisive action, “we can prevent and contain the pandemic threat facing the poorest countries and some of the most vulnerable children,” added Save the Children head Inger Ashing.
- They are “highly vulnerable to even short periods of hunger and malnutrition – potentially affecting them for their whole life,” she warns in the statement.
- Governments must also invest in other forms of social protection, fiscal policies, employment and labor market interventions to support families. This includes expanding universal access to quality healthcare and other services; and investing in family friendly policies, such as paid leave and childcare.
Many countries have already scaled up their social protection programmes. For example-
- In Indonesia, the Kartu Sembako Programme which provides monthly cash assistance for basic family consumption, expanded its reach to 20 million. Monthly cash assistance to families increased from Rp150 thousand to Rp200 thousand;
- In Mongolia, the government increased their Child Money Programme monthly benefit by five times from MNT 20,000 per month to MNT 100,000 for a duration of 6 months.
- In Argentina, the Universal Child Allowance programme provided an increase of $3,100 Argentine pesos (US$47) for its current beneficiaries;
- And in South Africa, several social protection schemes, including the child support grant which reaches 12.8 million children, are providing additional top-ups.
- In Georgia, the Targeted Social Assistance (TSA) programme will be temporarily expanded to provide support to an additional 70,000 families; as well as provide an extra 100 GEL (US$31) a month to 21,000 TSA households with three or more children for 6 months.
- In Armenia, eligible families enrolled in the family benefit system will receive a top-up equal to 50 per cent of the benefit.
- In Colombia, the government has created the Solidarity Income Program to provide cash transfers to households that do not currently receive benefits from any other National Government programmes. As of 21 May, more than 2 million vulnerable families had received a 320,000 peso transfer (equivalent to US$81) through two equal payments made during March and May.
- In Peru, the Government is providing solidarity bonus to rural households, independent workers and vulnerable families, as well a new universal bond, for 6.8 million households. Specific focus is needed to reach people living in remote areas, indigenous populations and migrants.
About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-
- The United Nations Children’s Fund is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide.
- RBI is the regulator of the entire Banking in India.
- It is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world, with a presence in 192 countries and territories.
- Founded – 11th December 1946
- Headquarters– New York
- Executive Director– Henrietta Fore
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