Millions are already having to work, beg or marry young due to the COVID-19 pandemic110 million children in Asia alone face hunger because of the crisisIn the poorest parts of the world most families have lost most of their income
A report released today by aid agency World Vision has laid out some dramatic impacts felt by the poorest children in
the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millions more children – eight million in Asia alone - could be exposed to harm through begging, child labour, and child
marriage because parents cannot afford to buy enough food.
The Aftershocks: Out of Time report warns that global predictions of increased child hunger, violence, and poverty due
to the economic impact of COVID-19 are already being seen.
“Our rapid assessments in countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia show we are on the cusp of a
catastrophe for children,” says World Vision New Zealand National Director Grant Bayldon, “and each assessment shows
major disruptions in income, in the ability to buy sufficient food, and increases in risks to children as families
struggle to cope.”
“The effects are already being seen, and could lead to an increase in extreme poverty and hunger not seen for decades.”
World Vision’s community-level data is from 14,000 households in Asia, over 2,400 small business owners in Africa, and
more than 360 Venezuelan migrants across Latin America. It confirms that projections by global agencies about the
potential impact of the pandemic are already happening. For example:Eighty-four per cent of Venezuelan migrants surveyed in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela
reported a significant drop in income and one in three Venezuelan migrant children goes to bed hungry.In Africa we found more than two thirds of the poorest families said their incomes had been cut in half, and the most
common way to cope with that was for the family to eat less.
The report calls on governments, UN agencies, donors, NGOs, and the private sector to act together to protect children
from these effects by keeping food and market systems going; protecting jobs and livelihoods; and investing in an
inclusive, resilient and green economic recovery.
“The UN estimates it would cost 90 billion US dollars to protect the most world’s most vulnerable children,” says Grant
Bayldon, “but that’s only one percent of what OECD and G20 countries have pledged for a global stimulus package.”
You can read World Vision’s Aftershocks: Out of Time report here