In a statement released on Monday, the organization noted that in low and middle-income countries, learning losses to school closures have left up to 70 per cent of 10-year-olds unable to read or understand a simple text, up from 53 per cent in the period before the pandemic.
The report identified the barriers children with disabilities face to participating fully in their societies and how this often translates to negative health and social outcomes. It shows that children with disabilities are disadvantaged compared to children without disabilities on most measures of child well-being.
In an analysis of 91 countries, the report finds that only half of children aged 6-23 months are being fed the minimum recommended number of meals a day, while just a third consume the minimum number of food groups they need to thrive. Further analysis of 50 countries with available trend data reveals these poor feeding patterns have persisted throughout the last decade.
Across the region, UNICEF reports that over 32 million children are estimated to be out of school because of pandemic closures due to second and third waves in some countries or have failed to return once their schools opened earlier this year.
Deliveries could start as early as August for countries that are ready to receive them. The COVAX Allocation Framework will determine the dose allocations to COVAX participants taking into consideration country readiness, vaccine supply through COVAX to date, operating and supply aspects, and other parameters.
These findings were revealed through a U-Report poll of more than 26,000 people, including about 9,000 young people aged 14-24 across 119 countries. The poll, conducted between 6 May and 1 June 2021, asked respondents about their aspirations to learn and earn, and the unique barriers they face as a girl or as a refugee, trying to access the labor market with or without legal status.
23 million children missed out on basic vaccines through routine immunization services in 2020 accounting for 3.7 million more than in 2019, according to data published Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
The new agreement implements the Advance Purchase Commitment (APC) signed between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) and Janssen earlier in March. The agreement secured an option to order another 180 million doses, bringing the maximum access up to a total of 400 million doses by the end of 2022
WHO statistics show, last year, 1,226 cases of all forms of polio were recorded compared to 138 in 2018, something attributed to paused door-to-door campaigns for four months to protect communities from the spread of COVID-19.
This is the fifth supply agreement UNICEF has signed for COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX facility following previously announced agreements with the Serum Institute of India, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The agreements have enabled the facility to make deliveries of the vaccine to the 92 countries that they cover.
Revealing that they are working to secure additional sourcing of vaccines in the form of dose-sharing from higher-income countries, the facility said in a statement that they have so far made supplies to100 countries, 42 days after they supplied their very first batches to Ghana in late February.
The data released on Thursday shows that as of March 2021, 13 per cent of 71 million COVID-19 infections in 107 countries (62 per cent of the total global infections) with data by age are among children and adolescents under 20 years of age. While most of these infections are mild and may not require advanced clinical interventions, the pandemic has gone ahead to affect progress made in attaining measures that determine normal childhood.
The airlines are backing the landmark initiative to prioritize delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, essential medicines and other critical supplies across the globe. Under the arrangement, airlines covering routes to over 100 countries will support the COVAX Facility – the global effort aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The report dubbed Your Voice Your Future that brought together results and recommendations from four U- Report polls across Africa and Europe also found participation in decision making, quality education and internet access among the main concerns for children and young people both in Africa and Europe.
The COVAX facility has 190 participating countries and entities and the plan is to have them access the vaccine for initially vulnerable groups in the first half of 2021. This includes delivering at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses of approved vaccines in 2021 to the 92 low and middle income economies that have joined the facility.
According to the UN agencies, prolonged closure of schools stops learning from taking place, which will leave children vulnerable. They say the government should prioritise the re-opening of schools as lockdowns are lifted, and develop frameworks to ensure safe environments.