Coronavirus is the biggest global health, social and economic crisis of our lifetime and is tearing children's lives apart.
All over the world, our teams have rapidly adapted and are working round-the-clock to keep children safe, healthy and in school. We have already supported nearly 10 million children and families across 88 countries through our response.
In the largest study of its kind, our Protect A Generation report brings together the voices and COVID-19 experiences of over 25,000 children, parents and caregivers from across the world. It reveals that the pandemic has widened existing inequalities, with girls and poorer children being hit hardest.
Below is small portion of the work our teams are doing to ensure that children survive, learn and are protected throughout this pandemic.
Nearly 90% of households we surveyed for the Protect A Generation report have struggled to access healthcare and medicine, with two-thirds having issues with accessing the food they need.
Around the world, our teams are distributing hygiene materials to help children and their families protect themselves from coronavirus. We're also sharing essential information so families are accurately informed about how to stay healthy.
In Colombia, we are continuing to provide cash transfers and food vouchers to vulnerable families so they can keep their children safe and healthy throughout the pandemic. On top of this, the teams are providing vital sexual and reproductive health services, access to clean water and information about hygiene.
In Nigeria, we are working with the Lagos State Government to make sure that children don't miss out on their regular immunizations and that our existing services for malnourished children can continue. We are also supporting Cameroonian refugees with clean drinking water and hygiene kits, as well as sharing accurate and up-to-date information to displaced families.
And in Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee camp, we have opened a new Isolation Treatment Centre to care for vulnerable children and families affected by COVID-19.
Globally, over 1.5 billion children and students have had their education disrupted by coronavirus. Almost 10 million may never return. 80% of children we surveyed for our Protect A Generation report said they’ve learned little or nothing during the pandemic.
Our Save our Education campaign calls on governments to keep learning alive during lockdowns with accessible distance learning, ensure every child returns to school when it's safe and to build better education systems for the future.
So far, we have helped over two million children to access distance learning, including 77,000 children with disabilities. And we’ve supported 50 countries in adapting their curriculums to COVID-19.
In Ethiopia, we are operating a camel library, which means that children in remote locations can continue to access books and keep learning throughout the pandemic. The 21 camels can carry 200 storybooks at a time, and they are currently supporting 22,000 children across 33 villages. We are also using television and radio to share specialised learning materials, as well as risk awareness and protection messages including mental health support. We plan to reach eight million children across the country.
In Nepal, we are using technology to support parents and caregivers, including providing them with wellbeing and positive parenting activities. These are shared in audio form via a free to call number in local languages so as many people as possible can access them whenever works for them. We are also partnering with the Ministry of Health to provide announcements on local radio stations about the risks children are facing throughout the pandemic
As in any crisis, children are at increasing risk of violence throughout the coronavirus pandemic, particularly girls and those in fragile settings. 32% of households we surveyed for the Protect A Generation report told us that violence, including physical and emotional abuse, has occurred in the household during lockdown.
In Norway, we are advocating to make sure that children who feel unsafe at home have a way to seek help and that the child welfare system can continue throughout the crisis.
In Uganda, our team conducted a survey on child protection issues and found a significant increase in children working and parents being violent in the home. To tackle these risks, we are training caseworkers and child protection committees, holding workshops on positive parenting and providing individual support for the most vulnerable children. Teams are also sharing daily tips and simple exercises via radio to keep children healthy in both mind and body.
In Syria, we have turned buses into brightly coloured mobile classrooms where children receive structured emotional and psychosocial support, along with games to help them recover from the traumatic experiences they have been through. We have provided nearly 300,000 children and adults with mental health and psychological support.