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November 20, 2020

Protecting the rights and the health of children in pandemic times

On World Children's Day, we are proud to reiterate our support for UNICEF. While children are less likely to get Covid-19, it is nonetheless important to act now to ensure that they don’t become the hidden victims of the pandemic.

While children are less likely to catch the virus, and develop Covid-19 symptoms, the pandemic has nonetheless disrupted their lives and those of their families, as healthcare systems buckle under the pressure, borders close, and schools and businesses are shuttered.

The economic crisis we are experiencing, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, could plunge more than 86 million children below the poverty line.

In fact, the increase in poverty, school closures, and the deterioration in social services have pushed many children to work alongside their parents, to help their families make ends meet.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also severely disrupted healthcare services for mothers and children, which could result in a substantial, multiyear setback in terms of the progress previously made in the quest to eliminate and prevent infant mortality.

The Covid-19 pandemic is also adversely affecting global nutrition, particularly in countries where incomes are lower. Food has become less accessible, less available, and more expensive. It is estimated that around 368.5 million children – in 143 countries – who normally depend on school meal programs for a reliable source of daily nutrition must now find other sources of food.

To help UNICEF respond the needs of the most vulnerable children, AXA in the Philippines has donated USD 80,000 to support UNICEF’s efforts to alleviate the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

UNICEF in the Philippines

During the Covid-19 crisis

In the face of the challenge of infant obesity, AXA has been supporting UNICEF - since 2019 - with two action programs in the Philippines and in Brazil, countries that are experiencing a massive problem of obesity in children and adolescents.

UNICEF, which defends the rights and the health of children worldwide, has made preventing obesity in children a centerpiece of its action plan since 2016, so that every child can grow up in good health.

Over three years, with the support of AXA, the actions taken by UNICEF will focus on:

  • Training courses in maternity wards, hospitals, schools, and nurseries so that healthcare professionals and social workers, managers and teachers, develop the right reflexes to fight against infant obesity.
  • Communications campaigns targeting children under the age of 5, their families, and their friends and focused on the importance of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
  • A campaign targeting local policymakers, focused on persuading them to create an environment that favors weight loss: review of legislation pertaining to nutrition.

 

*UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product, or service. 

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