The Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on children and young people in the Eastern Caribbean Area

Impact of COVID-19 from 12 March to 29 April 2020

Socio-economic impact


The new corona virus is affecting the Eastern Caribbean Area (ECA) along with the rest of the world. As of 28 April 2020, the number of confirmed Corona virus cases had reached 333 and the reported deaths had risen to 20. Similar to the other countries, the governments in the ECA are re-configuring their health care systems, have closed their borders, schools and non-essential businesses, and established lock-downs in an effort to reduce the movement of the population and enforce social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.

The paper on the “Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on children and young people in the Eastern Caribbean Area” examines the key direct and indirect COVID-19 related impacts on children and young people in the short and medium-term, resulting from:

  • School closure and disruption of education,
  • Increased time at home and violence levels,
  • Rising unemployment and poverty projected levels, and
  • Increased demand for social protection.

The analysis was conducted using multiple datasets and information sources from the ECA countries and territories, and aligns with the UN policy brief on children, UNICEF sectoral frameworks (including Safe reopening of schools, and Social Protection response to COVID-19), as well as the evidence available from ILO, IMF, IFPRI and other organizations as the basis for the ongoing and potential socio-economic changes due to the pandemic.

This paper adds to the increasing body of evidence on COVID-19 impacts by:

  1. focusing on the socio-economic impact in the Eastern Caribbean Area;
  2. looking in more detail at the child and family level impacts on education and psycho-social wellbeing;
  3. estimating the scale of potential increases in unemployment and poverty; and
  4. suggesting recommendations to reduce the impacts on children and families and thus reduce longer-term risks in the ECA. 

We aim to update the analysis and findings, as the situation continues to evolve and more evidence becomes available.

The countries covered by this policy paper are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Socio-economic impact
UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office
Publication date

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