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Falling Family Incomes During COVID Will Increase Inequality for Generations – Global Issues

Report, The impact of COVID-19 on the welfare of households with children, present findings from data collected in 35 countries and note that households with three or more children are most deprived, with more than three-quarters experiencing a reduction in income.

Go without food

“Families cannot afford food or essential health care services. They cannot afford housing. It is a dire picture, and the poorest households are being pushed into further poverty.” Sanjay Wijesekera says, UNICEF Program Team Director.

According to the joint press release, the loss of income has left adults in a quarter of all households, in a position where children would go a day or more without food.

A young girl with her mother at a health center in Ratanakiri province, Cambodia.

© UNICEF / Antoine Raab

A young girl with her mother at a health center in Ratanakiri province, Cambodia.

Furthermore, adults in nearly half of households with children report that they themselves are skipping meals due to lack of money.

About a quarter of adults in households with or without children said they were out of work for the duration of the pandemic, the report said.

“The modest progress made in reducing child poverty in recent years is at risk of being reversed in all parts of the world. Families have experienced loss on a staggering scale. While last year inflation hit a multi-year high, more than two-thirds of households with children brought in less money,” added Mr. Wijesekera.

Stop a lost decade

Based on recent dataThe economic crisis caused by COVID-19 threatens to hit children and families hardest.

The number of children living in multidimensional poverty – without access to education, health care, housing, nutrition, sanitation or water – increased to approx. 1.2 billion won in 2020, while additional estimates 100 million children is expected to fall into multidimensional poverty by 2021.

Basic deprivation

As explained in the report, with children in 40% of households not participating in any form of educational activity while their schools are closed, children are being deprived of basic necessities. copy.

“Disruption to children’s education and health care, coupled with catastrophic out-of-pocket health costs affecting more than a billion people, can stunt the growth of human capital – the education, human health and happiness. Carolina Sánchez-Páramo, World Bank Global Director of Poverty and Equity.

Generations of inequality

The report also notes that prior to COVID-19, one in six children worldwide – or 356 million – experienced extreme poverty, where family members struggled to survive on below wages. $1.90 a day.

More than 40% of children live in moderate poverty. And nearly a billion children live in multidimensional poverty in developing countries, a number that has increased by 10% as a result of the pandemic.

Speaking about the lack of human resource development, Ms. Sánchez-Páramo added that the current situation “could increase inequality in future generations, making children less likely to do better than their parents.” or their grandparents”.

A seventeen year old girl stands in her classroom at a school in Nagaland, India.

© UNICEF / Tiatemjen Jamir

A seventeen year old girl stands in her classroom at a school in Nagaland, India.

More social protection

Although households with three or more children are most at risk of losing income, they are also the most likely to receive government support, with 25% accessing this support, compared with 10 % of households without children. .

Furthermore, this has helped to mitigate the negative impact of the crisis on supported households.

In their joint appeal, UNICEF and the World Bank, are urging the rapid expansion of social protection systems for children and their families.

Support should include cash transfers and universal child benefits, seen as important investments that can help lift families out of economic hardship and help them prepare for future shocks. future.

According to the World Bank, since the outbreak of the pandemic, more than 200 countries or territories have applied thousands of social protection measures, and the Organization has supported countries with about 12.5 billion USD to implement it. implementing these measures, reaching nearly one billion individuals worldwide.

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