The social and economic effects of COVID-19 on children in North Macedonia: an update
Not all children are accessing vital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting them at continued risk
Even though government measures to combat COVID-19 and its consequences rarely targeted children directly, dozens of measures by the government, as well as other important stakeholders, effectively supported the wellbeing of children during the pandemic. Three groups of measures are especially noteworthy. The tailoring of the entire education system, since the onset of the pandemic, to operate in a new distance-learning mode, was the largest government move to accommodate children’s needs. Various campaigns aimed at raising awareness and guiding parents and children in the steps they may take if they find themselves in a dangerous or difficult situation, such as in cases of violence against children, or when psychological support is needed. Last but not least, most government measures to save jobs and financially aid jobless individuals, disproportionately benefited households with children, curbing the pressure of the pandemic on child poverty. Yet, despite the pandemic presently subsiding, there is still a need for added policy measures to further alleviate the consequences of the pandemic that may well endure into the future.
While government COVID-19 socio-economic measures have mitigated the impact on extreme child poverty, more children are living below the average standard of living. Furthermore, disruptions to services in social protection and education and decreased demand in health services are putting children at further risk as the pandemic lingers.