Mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on Malaysia’s children

Immediate and longer-term social protection policy options

A Malaysian child smiles behind a wood fence


COVID-19 is creating a significant and unprecedented challenge for Malaysia, as with other countries across the globe. The crisis is having a profound impact not only on public health but could also lead to the loss of 195 million jobs, mostly in Asia and the Pacific.1

Children risk being invisible victims of the crisis both in terms of their immediate wellbeing and their long-term life chances. Children in lower income families are particularly badly affected as they and their families are more likely to contract the virus and less able to cope with its socioeconomic consequences. This paper provides recommendations on how to ensure the effectiveness of the short-term response while also highlighting options for strengthening Malaysia’s social protection system with a view to avoiding exacerbation of existing socio-economic disparities among children and ensuring that all children get a good start in life.

UNICEF Malaysia
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