UN Warns Pandemic Could Prove “Catastrophic” For Children Around The World

by | April 17, 2020

UN officials are warning that the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus could be “catastrophic” for kids around the world.

The organization has stated that, while the virus itself is generally less harmful to children, the pandemic could create a ripple effect that leaves them compromised in other ways.

“Reduced household income will force poor families to cut back on essential health and food expenditures, particularly affecting children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

“Polio vaccination campaigns have been suspended. Measles immunization campaigns have stopped in at least 23 countries. And as health services become overwhelmed, sick children are less able to access care. With the global recession gathering pace, there could be hundreds of thousands additional child deaths in 2020.”

Child wearing mask during pandemic
Experts say the risk to children extends well their beyond physical health

Stress, Education & The Coronavirus Pandemic

Guterres explained, also, that the risks go well beyond the lack of access to food or adequate healthcare.

He expressed concerns over lost education, noting that, for kids in countries with slow or expensive internet, the loss is compounded and that, with teenage girls out of school, the risk of unplanned pregnancy increases. 

He also noted the potential for children to suffer in stressful environments, not only in terms of their own mental health, but in terms of their safety at home with their families as domestic verbal or physical abuse may intensify.

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