By Vatican News
The United Nations Children’s Agency, UNICEF, is urging governments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children amidst the socioeconomic consequences of Covid-19.
Children at risk
According to a statement published on their website on Thursday, UNICEF says millions of children around the world are in danger precisely because of actions taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Cases of abuse and exploitation are likely to increase, says the statement.
With school closures and movement restrictions disrupting children’s routines and support systems, some are now more vulnerable than ever to domestic violence and stress, reads the statement.
Children hidden victims
“Children are the hidden victims of the Covid-19 pandemic”, says UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore. “Lockdowns and school closures are affecting their education, mental health, and access to basic health services. The risks of exploitation are higher than ever, for boys and girls alike”, she adds.
“For children on the move or living through conflicts, the consequences will be unlike any we have ever seen. We must not let them down”, she concludes.
Global humanitarian response
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the United Nations launched a $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight Covid-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
The plan aims to protect millions of people and to stop the virus from circling back around the globe. The pandemic is now being felt in countries that are already facing humanitarian crises because of conflict, natural disasters and climate change.