Weekly Digest

15.03.2021

THE YEAR OF THE PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED ENORMOUS DAMAGE TO AN ENTIRE GENERATION OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

"Children will bear the scars of the pandemic for years to come" - Henrietta Faure, UNICEF Executive Director

 

March 10, this year. UNICEF provided information on the impact of the pandemic on the world's children. On the official page, it is noted that almost all key indicators of children's well-being are deteriorating:


-As of March 2021, 13% of the 71 million COVID-19 infections in 107 countries are among children and adolescents under the age of 20;


- child poverty in developing countries is expected to increase by 15 or 140 million children living below the poverty line;


- more than 168 million school children worldwide were closed for a year.;


- every third student could not get access to distance learning;


- every seventh child and young person lived in isolation with their family for most of the past year, which led to feelings of anxiety, depression and uncertainty about the future;


- As of November 2020, more than 94 million people in 26 countries missed measles vaccination due to the suspension of the campaign.

 

Children from

low-income

families are invisible

COVID-19 victims

 

In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, when parents have lost sources of income, children are more vulnerable to poverty and they are more likely to experience its effects throughout their lives.


 

Hunger and malnutrition can have long-term consequences for the physical, social and emotional development of children. Training gaps affect a country's human capital and competitiveness in the labor market. The unavailability of health services for children can lead to an unhealthy generation. In addition, poor children are at greater risk of child marriage, violence, exploitation and abuse.

 

The well-being of children should be a priority of public policy

 

Childhood is a fundamental and critical period for creating a sustainable and inclusive future. However, not all children have the opportunity to have the best start in life. The COVID-19 crisis has presented new threats to the well-being of children. Experts from various fields came to the conclusion that children's well – being is a multidimensional concept that combines the material, physical, mental, psychological and social aspects of the conditions and development of the child as a whole, as well as political rights and opportunities for development. But even before the crisis, in the richest countries of the world, the daily lives of millions of children were far from what could be called a good childhood.


Nevertheless, in order to strengthen efforts to realize children's rights and create child well-being, a number of countries are actively implementing a child-oriented budget and a Child Well-being Index. These are two complementary tools. Thus, the purpose of forming a budget for children is to ensure the priority of "children's expenses" in budget planning, to link budget allocations for children to the goals of state policy, as well as to track the dynamics of spending on children and analyze the adequacy of public investment. The budget for children is available in the USA, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, etc.


The Child Well-being Index is a tool for evaluating the effectiveness of public policy on children through a number of statistical and sociological indicators. The child well-being index is evaluated in the developed countries of the OECD and the EU.

 

Expert opinion:

In Kazakhstan, children make up about 30% of the population and, of course, the pandemic, as in all countries, has affected the well-being of children. One of the most urgent and problematic issues was the transition to distance learning, the closure of kindergartens, additional clubs and sections. Problems are the lack of readiness of the education system for distance learning, weak and non-standard Internet coverage, lack of technical equipment (computer, tablet, laptop, cell phone) for children, etc.


President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has repeatedly outlined the priority task for the state - the education and upbringing of our children, the creation of human capital. And his thesis that "every tenge allocated from the budget should be spent for its intended purpose and benefit society" is very important. Thus, there is a critical need for the implementation of the budget for children and the Kazakhstan index of child welfare.

 

 



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Saved: 20.04.2024



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