COVID-19 Has Put Progress At Risk For Children – SCI
•… Half of All Children in need in 2021 live in just eight countries.
•… Severe Food Shortages, Potential Famine Looming
Save The Children International, SCI, has warned that 60 million children across eight of the biggest humanitarian crises countries, need help to survive this year.
According to Ms. Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children, 2021 can be better or far worse, than 2020 for children, completely depending on humanity coming together to fight for every child to survive, learn, thrive, and be protected against violence.
“There is no excuse for children going hungry day-after-day, being forced to work to put food on the table, or denied their right to education.
“We are particularly worried about the numbers of children at risk of acute and severe malnutrition if we fail to act now. We can’t ignore the clear warning signs of dangerous food shortages and a risk of famine in many countries, including Yemen, DRC, South Sudan, and parts of Nigeria.”
Save the Children therefore called for concerted and immediate global response in 2021 to ensure that last year’s setbacks do not permanently impact an entire generation for years to come.
COVID-19 has put decades of progress for the world’s most vulnerable children at risk. Weak health systems were impacted as children saw their parents or teachers being taken away to hospitals with the virus. Children went hungry as families were plunged into poverty because breadwinners lost their income.
The education of more than 300 million pupils is affected by the pandemic[ii], as many schools had to close to curb the virus, increasing the risk of child abuse, exploitation, child marriage or children dropping out of school permanently.
According to the UN, more than 235 million people – an estimated half of them children – will need some form of humanitarian assistance this year, up from 170 million in 2020. That’s a dramatic 40 percent increase in less than a year.
Of the roughly 117.7 million children who need life-saving support in 2021, more than half (60 million) live in just eight countries, with Yemen, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for more than 10 million children each.
DATA OF CHILDREN IN NEED
“Even before the pandemic, children were facing a triple-threat to their rights from conflict, climate change and hunger. If we delay action, we risk losing thousands – potentially tens of thousands – of children from entirely preventable causes.
We cannot let that happen.
To help tackle the biggest threat to children’s survival and other rights in living memory, Save the Children is launching a $769 million plan to reach 15.7 million people including 9.4 million children in 37 countries.
Save the Children is working hard to ensure that in 2021, children affected by crisis can access education and are protected from violence, exploitation, and other forms of abuse.
The organisation is also working to ensure families are supported financially, so their children can keep learning and have access to healthcare, clean water, and nutritious food. In all its responses, Save the Children will be particularly focusing on empowering girls and women, to make sure they have equal access to support and services.
• Save the Children’s global humanitarian plan for 2021 includes four strategic goals underpinned by our commitment to quality, accountability and partnership:
o Ensure children and their families have access to essential health, nutrition and WASH services in conflict, crisis and disaster affected countries.
o Ensure the education, protection, and wellbeing of crisis-affected children by ensuring a safe return to learning (either remote or in person).
o Children, including girls, adolescents, children living outside of family care, and those in conflict, will be protected from violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
o Families are enabled to meet their basic needs and reduce the use of negative coping strategies, especially those affecting children, through increased access to income opportunities, cash and voucher assistance (CVA) for basic needs (including food), in-kind food when CVA is not appropriate, and government social protection schemes.
• Save the Children supports therapeutic feeding services for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition within the hospital in Taiz, Yemen, where Haifa* was treated, including primary health services for mothers or relatives of patients during the admission period. Our teams provide Infant and Young child feeding corner where a trained midwife is providing counselling for patients’ mothers. Save the Children is also building the capacity of health workers and supporting the rehabilitation of different facilities of the hospital.