ChildFund allocates $1 Billion for COVID-19 projects supporting vulnerable children and young people
Since launching its global COVID-19 response earlier this year, ChildFund Alliance has raised more than $1 billion for programs responding to both the immediate and long-term effects of the pandemic in vulnerable communities.
ChildFund Australia, a member of the global child-focused development network, was able to contribute $6.3m through the generosity of its public, corporate, and institutional donors, including the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).
The need could not be more urgent. As of 10 November, there have been nearly 51 million cases and 1.2 million deaths reported globally from COVID-19. According to World Bank estimates, the pandemic will push as many as 115 million additional people into extreme poverty this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have far-reaching health, social and economic impacts on children and their families in low-income countries across the world.
Some of the effects known are the following increased protection risks for children including child marriage, child trafficking and child labour; increased psychological stress on children and their families; and interruptions to essential health services, including child immunisations, antenatal care, and tuberculosis treatment.
Disrupted education for millions of children which are part of one-third of the world’s schoolchildren unable to access remote learning, and hunger for children and families where there are high rates of unemployment disrupted supply chains and no social safety nets are also effects that impact communities negatively.
According to ChildFund Australia CEO Margaret Sheehan, COVID-19 highlighted the fragility for millions of children around the globe and has shone a spotlight on inequality within and between nations.
“The pandemic not only threatens the physical health and wellbeing of young people and their families but the hard-fought development advances of the past 20 years. Without global cooperation and action, there is a real and significant risk that many communities will decline into extreme poverty,” Sheehan added.
To address the immediate needs of children and families, and support communities in recovery efforts, ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response Plan has five key priority areas which are to stop COVID-19 from infecting children and communities, help children continue learning, keep children safe from harm, ensure children get the food they need and support young people to play an active role in the response.
“As many countries continue to experience a peak in the number of COVID-19 cases, it becomes all the more vital to reach those who are suffering as a result of the significant economic hardships this pandemic has triggered,” ChildFund Alliance Secretary General Meg Gardinier said in a statement.
“The collateral damage from the pandemic will have long-lasting impacts if we don’t take aggressive action to stop the spread of the virus and mitigate its harm to children,” Gardinier said.