The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has turned the world upside down. The virus has spread to almost every country and territory in the world. Millions have been infected and thousands have died.
Health care systems are bucking under the pressure. Business have closed and over 1.5 billion children are now out of school.
During these difficult times, UNICEF is doing everything possible to help children and their families affected by the virus. We are scaling our response around the world. But this global crisis is pushing our resources to the limit.
Since the start of the outbreak we have reached over 800 million people around the world with vital messages about Covid-19. Spreading awareness about the disease, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself and stop the spread through social distancing and proper hygiene.
UNICEF has shipped millions of supplies around the world; including 6.4 million gloves, 1.2 million surgical masks, 230,051 N95 respirators, 251,855 gowns and 13,128 goggles to support frontline response in 44 countries.
For the most vulnerable children, social distancing and basic hygiene will not be an option and for some may even be impossible. We are working to make sure the most vulnerable communities have the supplies they need to protect themselves and stop the spread of Covid-19.
We know handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to stop the spread of coronavirus. Yet millions of people just don’t have access to this simple solution. We urgently need to reach the most vulnerable children and families.
We are working through extreme challenges to deliver lifesaving help and services to the children who count on us every day.
Millions of children around the world rely on us. We need to make sure we can continue to provide critical services like health and social care, water and sanitation, education and deliver urgent supplies like therapeutic food and medicines to children most at risk.
We are adapting our programmes to make sure children don’t miss out on their education. So far, we have made sure 29 million children can continue learning from their own homes.
Hunger and access to food will be a serious consequence of this a pandemic to the most vulnerable. In several crisis countries, we have already seen food prices increase. Our teams are reporting affected populations are more afraid of hunger then they are of the virus.
It’s a race against time. The threat of COVID-19 is so terrifying we have to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and help the people who may become infected. We have to be frank, the odds are stacked against us. Already we are supporting the largest humanitarian operation in the world, reaching more than 13 million people each month, we don’t have enough resources.
- Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen
In countries already facing a humanitarian crisis, like Syria and Yemen, the covid-19 outbreak will put children’s lives at even greater risk. These countries are already grappling with multiple crises like violence, large scale-displacement, disease outbreaks, droughts, cyclones and even invasions of locusts and will struggle to cope.
The secondary impact on children will be far more devastating. Unless we scale up our response to ensure we continue to provide critical supplies and supports children will suffer. They will miss out on vaccinations, basic health care and nutritious food, putting their lives at risk.
On the brink of famine, Yemen’s children are extremely vulnerable as this crisis unfolds. After years of conflict healthcare systems in Yemen are on the brink of complete collapse.
Already, millions of Yemenis do not have access to health care. Our teams began Covid-19 preparedness in March. We are helping to set up 49 quarantine facilities and 10 isolation centres. We are installing water tanks, emergency latrines and hand washing facilities. We have distributed more than 3,400 hygiene kits. But there is so more to be done.
We are working around the clock to scale up our responses to COVID-19. But we need your generous support to reach even more children. Will you help protect another child?