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Save the Children International
“The Hidden Impact of COVID-19 on children – A global research series” by Save the Children is the largest and most comprehensive study on the impact of COVID-19 on children.
Some 13.5 thousand children and 31.5 thousand caregivers from 46 countries shared their experiences, fears, hopes and messages for leaders in this study. The extensive study includes the voices of the most marginalised children and general public – with our in-depth analysis focussing on a representative random sample of 25,000 Save the Children program participants across 37 countries globally.
The global study reveals the hidden impacts of pandemic response measures which are impacting children’s health, nutrition, education, learning, protection, wellbeing, family finances and poverty. For the most marginalised and deprived children, those impacts have the potential to be life-altering and potentially devastating.
Globally, more than 8 in 10 children felt that they were learning little or nothing at all, and two thirds of parents and caregivers reported their child had received no contact from teachers since their schools closed. Three-quarters of households lost income as a result of COVID-19, and the vast majority of households (96%) reported having trouble paying for an essential item or service. Four in five struggled to pay for food and two in five households found it difficult to provide their families with a nutritious diet. Most parents and caregivers (89%) reported that their access to healthcare, medicine or medical supplies had been affected.
Our results also show a significant impact on the psycho-social wellbeing of children and their caregivers. More than 8 in 10 children reported an increase in negative feelings. One third of households had a child or caregiver reporting violence in the home. Children reported that violence was higher when schools were closed, compared to when they were attending in person.
The poorest households, households with disabilities, female headed-households and girls, are the hardest hit. The recommendations guided by views & voices of children provide guidance on the next steps needed to build back better for a post COVID-19 future which respects, protects and fulfils the rights of all children, in all contexts.