Sub-Saharan Africa: Growing up in crisis in a world of opportunities
The lasting impact of Covid-19 on children
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the world’s population. Although it has been established that children are at lower risk of falling seriously ill with COVID-19, the pandemic has had, and continues to have, far-reaching effects on them.
The pandemic poses a health crisis that has become a child rights’ crisis. It is heightening the impact of conflict and climate change on children. In sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 is exacerbating not only existing threats to the future that 550 million children face, but also measures put in place to control and contain the disease. While the arrival of the first vaccines brings hope to put an end to the pandemic, it will take time before these vaccines can reach everyone who needs them.
“Growing Up in Crisis in a World of Opportunities” sheds light on the various ways children in sub-Saharan Africa have been affected by the ongoing pandemic and how UNICEF and partners have been supporting them. The report also is a call to action to governments and the international community to take concerted action to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated control measures, and build forward a better world fit for children.
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Stories from the ground
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Sierra Leone, 15-year-old Marie’s school closed and her mother’s small informal business at the market drastically declined. Emergency cash transfers supported by UNICEF and partners helped Marie’s family get through these difficult times.
Ten-year-old Maria Antumane witnessed horrific violence and lost her family in the conflict in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. She fled and is being looked after by a guardian. UNICEF is supporting children like Maria Antumane by providing psychosocial support and essential care.