The Cotton On Group and the Cotton On Foundation
A UNICEF corporate partner since 2021
The Cotton On Group helps UNICEF deliver COVID-19 vaccinations to the world’s most vulnerable.
How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children
COVID-19 has exacerbated severe inequalities and social divides that existed long before the pandemic began. The global spread of the virus is reversing decades of progress in education, health and economic security for children in developing countries and could have devastating impacts for an entire generation. The future of the next generation depends on reopening schools, restoring essential services and guarding children’s rights through a far-reaching vaccination effort that prioritizes a fair and timely distribution of vaccines to those who protect children.
- As of March 2021, 13 per cent of 71 million COVID-19 infections in 107 countries (62 per cent of the total global infections) with data by age were among children and adolescents under 20 years of age.
- In developing countries, child poverty is expected to increase by around 15 per cent. An additional 140 million children in these countries are projected to be in households living below the poverty line.
- Schools for more than 168 million schoolchildren globally have been closed for almost a year. At least 1 in 3 schoolchildren has been unable to access remote learning while schools were closed.
- Around 10 million additional child marriages may occur before the end of the decade, threatening years of progress in reducing the practice.
- At least 1 in 7 children and young people has lived under stay-at-home policies for most of the past year, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation.
- As of November 2020, an additional 6 million to 7 million children under age 5 may have suffered from wasting or acute malnutrition in 2020, resulting in almost 54 million wasted children, a 14 per cent rise that could translate into more than 10,000 additional child deaths per month – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. With a 40 per cent decline in nutrition services for children and women, many other nutrition outcomes can worsen.
- As of November 2020, more than 94 million people were at risk of missing vaccines due to paused measles campaigns in 26 countries.
- Around 3 billion people worldwide lack basic hand-washing facilities with soap and water at home. In the least developed countries, three quarters of people, more than two-thirds of schools and a quarter of health-care facilities lack the basic hygiene services needed to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. On average, 700 children under 5 die every day from diseases caused by the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene.
In 2021, Cotton On joins forces with UNICEF to help to deliver the largest vaccination operation in history, supporting the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to protect health-care workers, teachers and vulnerable people around the world. Through the Cotton On Foundation, the global retailer is helping to fund the equitable delivery and administration of 1 million doses of a WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines, supplied by the Global COVAX Facility led by Gavi, WHO, CEPI and UNICEF.
During May and June 2021, 100 per cent of the gross profits of selected Cotton On Foundation products sold in Cotton On Group stores worldwide and online are being donated to UNICEF’s COVID-19 response. Consumers are also invited to donate directly to UNICEF’s COVID-19 vaccine response in store and through the Foundation’s website (www.cottononfoundation.org).
The Cotton On partnership will raise at least US$2 million to support UNICEF’s global COVID-19 vaccine response, facilitating country readiness and in-country delivery to ensure vaccinations, tests and treatments reach those in need in low-income and medium-income countries. The funds will contribute to vaccination planning and coordination with governments and local communities, health-worker training, community engagement to encourage people to get vaccinated, and localized messaging to combat vaccine hesitancy and stop the spread of misinformation.
Additionally, Cotton On’s partnership is contributing to UNICEF’s greater COVID-19 response, specifically in Uganda and South Africa, where the group has a strong philanthropic history in providing essential health services.
About Cotton On Group and Foundation
Established in Australia in 1991, the Cotton On Group operates in 16 countries worldwide and runs a suite of affiliate retail brands including Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Rubi, Typo, Factorie and Supré.
The Cotton On Foundation, launched in 2007, was initiated after the company funded the completion of a health-care centre in Mannya village, Uganda. The Foundation’s mission is to empower youth globally through quality education to help reduce poverty and improve the lives of those in need. To complement education projects for children in vulnerable communities, the Cotton On Foundation also provides long-term opportunities across health, sustainability and infrastructure programming.
Last updated 19 May 2021