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UN Points Out Effects Of Pandemic On Children Of Migrants

Recent reports suggested that the huge movement of migrant workers has affected children. The families heading back to their homes in rural India included several children, faced a lot of problems.

The Plight

About ten crore children, living in India and other South Asian countries, could face poverty. This will be as a result of the severe impact of the pandemic. The United Nations mentioned this in a report released recently. If the situation worsens, the region could see the additional mortality rates. The report suggests that as many as 8.8 lakh children aged five or under and that of 36,000 mothers over the next 12 months, could die.

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Children

Regions Included

The regions of this impact could include India and Pakistan. However, Bangladesh and Afghanistan could also face significant levels of increased deaths. UNICEF said that South Asia resides some 600 million children. Also, out of these,  240 million are already living in bad conditions. Although children may be less vulnerable to the virus,  the impact of the pandemic will also affect them, which includes socio-economic challenges.

Impact On Certain Aspects Of Life

A statement from Jean Gough, UNICEF, mentioned the long-term effect of the economic crisis on children. With no urgent action, the virus could destroy the future of an entire generation. There is no progress in immunisation, nutrition and other vital health services. Also, this will potentially threaten the lives of up to 4.59 lakh children and mothers over the next six months.

The schools are closed. And hence, more than 430 million children are relying on remote learning which will only partially fill the gap. Further, several households in rural areas have no electricity, let alone internet access. Then there are further concerns that some disadvantaged students may join the nearly 32 million children who were out of school before the pandemic.

Many migrant families have continued to suffer from abuse, stigma and discrimination after reaching home. The UN suggested governments to direct more resources towards social protection schemes, immediately. This shall also include emergency universal child benefits and school feeding programme.

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