COVID-19 pandemic becoming a child rights crisis: UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that health crisis is “quickly becoming a child rights crisis” even as the coronavirus outbreak enters its fifth month. The UNICEF has called for an immediate assistance of 1.6 billion dollars for its humanitarian service towards children and warned that about 6,000 children under five could die every day if immediate action was not taken.

“As we re-imagine what a post-COVID world would look like, these funds will help us respond to the crisis, recover from its aftermath, and protect children from its knock-on effects”, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.

 

She said that the costs of supplies, shipment and care have increased much and the demand has also increased. “Schools are closed, parents are out of work and families are under growing strain,” she said.

The UNICEF said that the estimate of 6,000 additional deaths from preventable causes  in the next six months was based on an analysis by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The UN agency said that about 56,700 more maternal deaths could occur in just six months in addition to the 1,44,000 likely deaths across the globe. Fore said that the mothers and children should not become collateral damages in the fight against Covid0-19.  The decades of progress on bringing down child and maternal deaths should not be lost, she added.

The UNICEF noted that essential services such as routine immunization have already been compromised in the wake of the deadly virus. The agency also pointed out the psycho-social impact of school closures, restricted movement and even isolation are likely to intensify. It also warned that children under restricted movement and socio-economic decline were in greater jeopardy of violence and neglect. Moreover, the agency also maintained that women and girls are at increased risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

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