Protect a Generation: The impact of COVID-19 on children’s lives

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Save the Children International

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on children, families, communities, and societies the world over. The coronavirus is tearing children’s lives apart – around 99% of the world’s children have been impacted by disruptions like school closures, stretched health systems, lost livelihoods, and restricted access to nutritious food.

To ensure children’s voices are heard and will be at the centre of any response to this crisis, Save the Children conducted the largest survey among children and their caregivers of its kind since the outbreak of the pandemic, taking in over 25,000 respondents (including 8,000 children) across 37 countries. The findings are captured in our latest report, Protect a Generation: The Impact of COVID-19 on children’s lives.

Key findings within the report:

  • 90% of the households that lost over half of their income due to the pandemic have struggled to access healthcare and medicine. And two-thirds have had issues accessing nutritious food.
  • Over 1.5 billion children have been affected by school closures, with 80% of children saying that they learnt little or nothing at all during the pandemic. As a result of being stuck at home, two-thirds of girls are doing more chores around the house and over half reported spending more time caring for siblings.
  • Being out of school can also be a driver of increased violence against children. Violence in the household was reported by children at over double the rate when schools were closed (17%) compared with when schools were open and the child was attending in person (8%).
  • Almost one in five children (19%) reported violence occurring in homes with an income loss due to COVID-19 compared to 1 in 5 (5%) with no income loss.
  • Poorer households have been worst affected, with 82% reporting a loss in income as a result of the pandemic

On this page, you can find the full report in English and executive summaries in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

We have also released six Thematic Reports on the Hidden Impact of COVID-19, based on the survey data. You can find the reports on Child Poverty, Child Protection, Child Rights, Health, Nutrition and Education on this page.

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