UNICEF statement on COVID-19 outbreak

11 March 2020

NEW YORK, 11 March 2020 – “Characterizing COVID-19 as a pandemic is not an indication that the virus has become deadlier. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the disease’s geographical spread.

“UNICEF has been preparing and responding to the epidemic of COVID-19 around the world, knowing that the virus could spread to children and families in any country or community.

“We will continue working with governments and our partners to stop transmission of the virus, and to keep children and their families safe.

“At the same time, we remain very concerned by the secondary impacts of the outbreak and related control measures on children, including school closures, the burden on local health systems for the delivery of primary care, protection risks and economic pressures felt by some families.

“Fear of the virus is also contributing to discrimination against people from vulnerable groups, including refugees and migrants – this is unacceptable.

“We remain on the ground working in affected communities to mitigate secondary impacts for children and push pack against stigmatization.”

Media Contacts

Christopher Tidey
UNICEF New York
Tel: +1 917 340 3017
Marisol Quintero
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 3017484

About UNICEF

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/lac.

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For more information about COVID-19 and guidance on how to protect children and families, visit www.unicef.org/coronavirus