The economic consequences of the pandemic COVID-19 could push up to 86 million additional children in poverty by the end of the year, according to a joint study by the NGO Save the Children and the un agency Unicef.
In total, this would be 672 million children affected by poverty, representing an increase of 15 % compared to the previous year, stated the two organizations in a press release Wednesday.
Nearly two-thirds of these children live in sub-saharan Africa and south Asia.
The increase in the number of children affected by poverty because of the pandemic would occur mainly in Europe and central Asia, according to the study, which is based on projections of the world Bank and the international monetary Fund and demographic data in over a hundred countries.
“The scale of the financial difficulties faced by the families threatens the progress achieved over the years, in the reduction of child poverty and deprive them of essential services,” said Henrietta Fore, director of Unicef, quoted in the press release.
With immediate and effective action, “we can contain the threat of the pandemic weighing on the poorest countries and some of the most vulnerable children”, the judge on his side Inger Ashing, a patron of Save the Children. They are “very vulnerable to periods of hunger even if they are short and to the malnutrition that may affect them throughout their lives”, warns in the press release.
The two organizations ask governments to rapidly expand their systems of social security cover and food provided in schools, to limit the effects of the pandemic.