Wealthy nations’ assist for kids ‘completely insufficient’: UN report |
The report shows that Of the $ 14.9 trillion spent between February and August on domestic financial recovery packages put together by wealthier countries, only two percent was dedicated specifically to helping children and families raising children. This is despite signs that child poverty in high-income countries is expected to remain above pre-COVID levels for at least five years.
“The level of financial relief granted directly to children and families does not reflect the grave consequences of the pandemic or the likely impact of this crisis on these countries,” said Gunilla Olsson, director of UNICEF’s Research Office-Innocenti in Florence, Italy .
Business the big winner
The study shows that businesses were by far the biggest beneficiaries of stimulus packages, consuming around 80 percent of the available funds during that period, and that the most marginalized children will suffer the most.
Around a third of the major economies examined in the report (from the European Union and the OECD group of higher income countries) did not implement any measures specifically aimed at helping children during the first wave of the pandemic.
Overall, the social protection measures for children and families adopted in other countries – such as childcare, school maintenance and family allowances – only lasted an average of three months, far too short-term to adequately address the planned measures. Long-term crisis and child poverty risks in the long term, according to the report.
With temperatures dropping and cases rising in many parts of the world, UNICEF is urging governments to come up with more balanced recovery plans during what is known as the “second wave”, with an emphasis on child social protection and unconditional income support for the poorest families, allowances for groceries, childcare and supplies, as well as rent or mortgage waivers