#NotGoingBack: Building a better future for every child in East Asia and the Pacific, post COVID-19

18 August 2020
Not Going Back Thailand

Bangkok, 18 August 2020: UNICEF East Asia and Pacific issues today, “Recover, Rebound, Reimagine - Building a better future for every child in East Asia and the Pacific, post COVID-19.”  

The report highlights the many ways COVID-19 has further pummelled the region’s 2.2 billion people - families already struggling to put food on the table and educate their children.  

The world as we know it has changed. In the space of just a few months, COVID-19 has unleashed itself with alarming speed, leaving no continent or country untouched. While children are not the face of the pandemic, they are among the hardest hit.  

From the start, UNICEF and its partners have been responding in full force. Not only to provide immediate support and protection to those who need it the most, but to encourage with governments and other partners, new thinking and strategies to safeguard progress for children in a post COVID-19 world. What will a better future for children look like? The region’s COVID-19 blueprint for action: Recover, Rebound and Reimagine, may help shape the answer. 

  • Recover: restoring the provision of essential services – and scaling up successful interventions – to support children, particularly those whose underlying conditions make them even more vulnerable to infection from the virus.  

  • Rebound: nurturing children’s resilience and protecting the most vulnerable. For example, supporting governments in the region to ensure cash grant payments for families and an increase in the number of beneficiaries to include the newly poor.  

  • Reimagine: tapping into an experimental mind-set to tackle obstacles on the road to creating a more equitable, inclusive and resilient society, one able to better cope with tomorrow’s disasters.  

As many of us start to emerge from lockdowns, there is a collective realization that ‘returning to the old normal’ is simply not going to happen. We shouldn’t go back to normal and we won’t, because normal never was.  

In conclusion, the report calls for several actions, for example, scaling up and instilling the practice of handwashing as a social norm and the promotion of nutritious, safe and sustainable diets for children and their families and empowering young people to opt for a healthier, sustainable diet in a post-COVID-19 world. 

It also asks people to come together - we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine a better world for children. Let’s do it together. Let’s prove that we are #NotGoingBack 


Notes to editors  

Together with the report, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific also releases a video that highlights the key theme of the report - #NotGoingBack – using images of the problems we faced and a vision for a better future for all children in the region.   

It also calls on young people in the region on Instagram to talk about what they don’t want to go back to and share this messaging to engage people around reimaging a better tomorrow.   

And working with photographers in Myanmar, Viet Nam, the Philippines and Thailand, UNICEF gathered stories of vulnerable families and children impacted by COVID-19, asking them what their hopes are for the future. 


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook 

For further information, please contact:  

Simon Nazer, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific, +66 (0) 2 356 9407, snazer@unicef.org  

Media contacts

Simon Nazer
Communication Specialist
Tel: +66 (0)6618833557


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF East Asia & Pacific and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/eap

Follow UNICEF East Asia & Pacific on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram