Recover, Rebound, Reimagine
Building a better future for every child in East Asia and the Pacific, post COVID-19
The world as we know it has changed. In the space of just a few months, COVID-19 has unleashed itself with alarming speed, leaving no continent or country untouched. In East Asia and the Pacific, home to 2.2 billion people, COVID-19 has further pummelled families already struggling to put food on the table and educate their children. It has turned upside down the lives of those who have lost good jobs and income security, further increasing inequalities. It has piled new layers of hardship on a region highly prone to natural disasters and buffeted by climate change. It has also normalized rights violations. COVID-19 is as much a human rights crisis as it is a health and economic one.
While children are not the face of the pandemic, they are among the hardest hit.
There are three main ways in which children in East Asia and the Pacific are affected. First, by direct infection with the disease itself or the infection of a caregiver; second, by the immediate consequences of actions to contain the pandemic, such as the universal closure of schools and the disruption of essential health and immunization services; and third, by the socio-economic crisis that threatens to erase long-term development gains. Each and every victory painstakingly won for children’s rights and dignity over years if not decades, risks unravelling.
We cannot let this happen.
From the very start, UNICEF and its partners have been responding in full force – guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our vision is ambitious. Not only to provide im-mediate support and protection to those who need it the most in these coronavirus times, but to encourage, in lockstep with governments and many other partners, new thinking and new strategies to safeguard progress and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in a post COVID-19 world. What will that world look like? Our COVID-19 blueprint for action: Recover, Rebound and Reimagine, may help shape the answer.