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Protect the world’s most vulnerable children from COVID-19

SITUATION UPDATE:

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of children and families in nearly every country across the globe. The impact of this pandemic on children is devastating. More than one billion children are not in school. Parents and caregivers have lost their jobs. Borders have been closed. 

With schools and social services closed, health systems overwhelmed, and life-saving programs on hold in an effort to contain the pandemic, hundreds of millions of children face increasing threats to their safety and well-being. They’re at greater risk of illness, exploitation, separation from parents and abuse. 

Children living in developing countries and fragile conditions like refugee camps, war zones or urban slums are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They lack access to sanitation for hand-washing and are unable to self-isolate or practice social distancing due to crowded living conditions. Many already live with immune systems weakened by malnutrition or diseases caused by unsafe water.

UNICEF is in more than 190 countries, partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO) and front-line responders to keep children healthy, learning and safe, no matter who they are or where they live.

We urgently need your help to protect the world’s most vulnerable children from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please donate now.

Hundreds of millions of children are at immediate risk from COVID-19

How Does COVID-19 Threaten Children?

The data published so far suggests children are infected less frequently than adults and, when infected, usually develop a milder form of the disease. However, children can develop severe complications and die from COVID-19. They can also play a role in transmitting the disease to more vulnerable people, such as parents or grandparents.

COVID-19 poses a dangerous threat to children’s safety, health and well-being in several areas:

  1. More than 1 billion children are currently out of school due to COVID-19-related closures.  This can have immediate and long-term consequences for children’s education, safety and mental health
  2. Without the safety net of school and other social services, children are at risk of exploitation, neglect and abuse.  In some cases, they might need to forgo their childhood in order to care for a sick parent or work to supplement the family income. 
  3. Immunizations , treatment for severe acute malnutrition and other life-saving interventions are being put on hold or shut down due to social distancing requirements and logistical and supply challenges. If immunizations are interrupted for more than a few weeks, increasing numbers of children will die of preventable diseases such as measles
  4. The growing stigmatization of groups and ethnicities associated with the disease puts children at risk of discrimination, bullying and verbal and physical abuse.

WASH is Critical

in the fight against COVID-19 and yet...

Hand-washing icon
Water
40% of the world’s population do not have a hand-washing facility with soap and water at home.
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Sanitation
900 million school children lack hand-washing facilities at school.
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Hygiene
Only 3 out of 5 people across the world have basic hand-washing facilities.

HOW WILL MY DONATION HELP CHILDREN?

UNICEF is working around the clock to focus on the most urgent needs for children in the face of this growing pandemic. Your gift today will help:

  • Provide hand-washing supplies to families, communities and health centres.
  • Send masks, gloves, gowns and other protective equipment to front-line health workers.
  • Support remote learning opportunities and access to social services for children out of school.
  • Enable mental health and social support for families impacted by the pandemic.
  • Share accurate information about the virus and the importance of hand-washing and hygiene.
  • Combat the spread of dangerous misinformation and stigmatization
  • Ensure children and pregnant women continue to have access to lifesaving health services.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO PROTECT A CHILD FROM COVID-19?

$20
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SOAP AND WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS
FOR 45 CHILDREN
$57
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Personal Protective Equipment*
FOR A HEALTH WORKER

* A respiratory mask, a surgical mask, gloves, protective boots and a gown.

HOW IS UNICEF RESPONDING TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?

As a key partner in the global fight against COVID-19, UNICEF has been responding rapidly to meet the urgent needs of children threatened by the pandemic. We are working with local governments, the World Health Organization and other partners across all regions of the world.

In just the past couple of months, generous people like you have helped us:

  1. Ship more than 4.27 million gloves, 573,300 surgical masks, 98,931 N95 respirators, 156,557 gowns and 12,750 goggles to countries as they respond to the pandemic.
  2. Reach more than 86 million people with prevention messages in China, Malaysia, Lao, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.
  3. Secure US$30 million worth of essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including 26.9 million surgical masks, 4.8 million respirators, 6 million coveralls, 7.1 million surgical gowns, 1.5 million goggles and 29,000 infrared thermometers.
  4. Reach more than 1 million young people in 24 countries with life-saving information about symptoms, transmission and prevention through the COVID-19 U-Report chatbot.
  5. Train more than 1,000 front-line health workers in Lebanon.
  6. Provide 2,800 bars of soap for hand-washing to orphanages in Kabul, Afghanistan.  

 

WHY DOES UNICEF NEED MY HELP NOW?

The pandemic is just starting to erupt throughout the developing world, which means we must act immediately to limit the spread, before it’s too late.

UNICEF is calling on donors to give US $651.6 million to help strengthen response plans in countries with weaker healthcare systems, deliver essential healthcare and hand-washing supplies to stop disease transmission, provide information to children and families on how to stay safe, and strengthen remote learning opportunities and protection systems.  

EVERY DOLLAR MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

This is an extraordinary emergency that demands an extraordinary response, and we need all hands on deck.

- Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director