Data snapshot “COVID-19 in Egypt”: UNICEF efforts to protect children and youth during the pandemic
CAIRO, 9 July 2020 – A data snapshot “COVID-19 in Egypt” was launched today by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and youth in Egypt and to present what the organization is doing to help in containing this impact and protect children and young people in the country during this crisis.
“While children and youth are not most at risk of developing health complications due to the spread of COVID-19, they can suffer from its broader socio-economic impacts that will affect the society as a whole” stated Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Egypt. “Therefore, it is important to protect children and youth as they represent 52% of the Egyptian population and are considered among the most vulnerable groups to COVID-19’s social and economic impacts” added Maes.
The snapshot highlights how the measures taken to contain the pandemic in Egypt have already started affecting children and youth. The closure of the schools has affected an estimated 25.3 million students in the country by the disrupting their education and depriving them of peer interaction, which can hinder their social and behavioral development. In some cases, children and youth have also become more vulnerable to various types of violence, poverty, and mental health issues. Furthermore, it is expected that employment prospects for youth who are transitioning from education to the labor market will be more precarious due to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
Moreover, “the snapshot draws the attention to the efforts done by UNICEF to ensure the protection of children and youth at these difficult times. Making sure that children and youth are at the forefront of our response is essential for the present and our shared future. Therefore, UNICEF has been working with the Government of Egypt and development partners to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on the well-being of children and the whole Egyptian society”, said Bruno Maes.
To mitigate the impact of the crisis caused by COVID-19 on the most vulnerable groups, UNICEF is providing technical assistance, in the field of social protection, to government partners based on an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on high-risk groups, poverty analysis, and real-time monitoring of the immediate consequences of the crisis. When it comes to food security and nutrition, UNICEF is working on ensuring access to essential nutrition commodities, developing and disseminating information on best practices for child feeding, and building capacity of health professionals to deliver and monitor nutrition interventions. UNICEF is also working on different initiatives to support access to education and skills development for children and youth as well as ensuring continued access to essential maternal and childcare health services.
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 and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/.