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UNICEF Study Warns: COVID-19 Pandemic Consequences May Plunge 86 Million Additional Children into Poverty

May 29, 2020 (EIRNS)—The COVID-19 pandemic, and its economic consequences, could push up to 86 million more children into household poverty worldwide, worsening an already dire situation. UNICEF, in coordination with Save the Children, issued a study on May 27, “COVID-19: Number of Children Living in Household Poverty to Soar By Up to 86 Million by End of Year.”

The coronavirus pandemic itself, as well as the public health measures taken to defeat it, are causing business shutdowns, lowering household incomes, and curtailing social services. This means that some of the services needed to stay alive won’t be there. UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore asserted that “The coronavirus pandemic has triggered an unprecedented socio-economic crisis that is draining resources from families all over the world. The scale and depth of financial hardship among families threatens to roll back years of progress in reducing child poverty and to leave children deprived of essential services. Without concerted action, families barely getting by could be pushed into poverty, and the poorest families could face levels of deprivation that have not been seen in decades.”

UNICEF and Save the Children considered most optimistic and most pessimistic outcomes. Under the most optimistic, 63 million more children would be driven into household poverty. Under the most pessimistic, 86 million more children would be pushed into household poverty by the end of 2020, driving the number of children living below the national poverty line in low- and middle-income countries from 586 million children, to 672 million by year’s end, a leap of 15%. Based on the number of children in the world, therefore, one out of every three children would be living in poverty.

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