SUPPORTING CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS AND WOMEN AFFECTED BY COVID-19

In the Middle East and North Africa - 2020

Little girl portrait wearing a mask
UNICEF/UN0391145/Anmar

Highlights

Risk Communication and Community Engagement. Around 270 million people – more than half of the total population in MENA – were reached with information on how to prevent COVID-19 and how to access essential social services during lockdowns.

Health. UNICEF launched a ‘jumpstart package’ for countries showing declines in utilization of health services, advocating on the importance of continuing essential health services for women and children and directly supporting countries in the region to ensure continuity of access to essential health services, reaching around 4.7 million women and children. Across the MENA region, 750,000 women in underserved areas benefitted from an essential maternal health package.

Nutrition. Design of an essential tool for malnutrition screening: the disposable mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tape; provision of counselling and advice on infant and young child feeding (IYCF) to around 1.7 million mothers and caregivers.

WASH. Around 18 million people in 14 MENA countries were able to better protect themselves from COVID-19 infection thanks to the provision of handwashing stations, hygiene kits, soap and hand sanitizers. More than 19,349 health staff and community health workers were trained in IPC and more than 198,054 facility-based and community health workers received PPE, including gloves and masks.

Education. Nearly 9.5 million children in all countries were reached through various UNICEF-supported remote learning initiatives since the pandemic started in MENA in late February 2020. Development of a Teachers Preparedness Training Package to help teachers reflect on the changes COVID-19 has and will have on teaching practices, and to assist them in teaching in the ‘new normal’.

Child Protection. More than 450,000 parents and children benefited from COVID-specific mental health and psychosocial support programmes. UNICEF supported adapted child protection programming and specialized services, including remote and in-person case management. By the end of 2020, more than 3,000 children were released from detention in 13 countries.

Social Protection. Over 110,000 households received a humanitarian cash grant, and approximately 13 million households benefited from new or additional social assistance measures, as part of UNICEF’s support to governments’ expansion of shock responsive social protection programmes.

Supplies. Despite movement restrictions and transport constraints, UNICEF succeeded in delivering nearly 1.6 million units of supplies across the region since the start of the pandemic. UNICEF procured a net worth of US$40 million from local markets in MENA.

Cover image of little girl portrait wearing a mask
Author
UNICEF
Publication date
Languages
English

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