Social and Economic Policy

Economic Crisis and Recovery

© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1229/Giacomo Pirozzi

The current global economic crisis threatens to undo many of the world’s recent gains in child survival and well-being. While there are some encouraging signs of economic recovery, for the world’s vulnerable children and women the crisis is far from over.

There are already strong signals that children and women are being impacted by this crisis with significant increases in malnutrition and child poverty in some countries.  This has created not only an immediate emergency for today’s children, but also presents a risk of impoverishing future generations. Past crises have shown the degree to which children are vulnerable to economic recessions, as they can be removed from school to work or care for family or suffer undernutrition as food becomes more scarce. These situations, even if only temporary, can often have a permanent impact on a child’s development and future potential.

This crisis has underlined the need to maintain, and where possible increase, core social expenditures like education and health spending in order not to lose both earlier human capital gains and long-term national development objectives. Investing in children will remain the most important aspect of the response:  it is a not only a moral imperative, but fundamental to ensuring a recovery with a human face