Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19

by Global Fund for Children
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Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Urgent Needs for Children Affected by COVID-19
Fundacion Merced gives nutrition & hygiene packs
Fundacion Merced gives nutrition & hygiene packs

More than a year after its onset, the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for children and youth worldwide. Through its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, Global Fund for Children is continuing to issue immediate grants to the community-based organizations keeping them safe.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, GFC has sent emergency grants to more than 140 partners in 38 countries. We have now issued 250+ emergency grants totaling more than $810,000 to our community-based partners worldwide, including partners in Haiti affected by both the pandemic and multiple natural disasters.

In India and other Asian countries, GFC’s partners have continued providing lifesaving support to children and their families amid a surge in coronavirus cases. Two GFC staff members shared how they have supported partners in India that are responding to increased threats to children, and how they have provided partners with home-based COVID-19 patient treatment training.

Across Asia, COVID-19 has also increased the vulnerability of children and young people to domestic violence, physical and online exploitation, trafficking, and forced marriage, and endangered their mental health. GFC’s partners remain critical sources of support in their communities and an essential resource for local government agencies as they seek to provide broader support during the pandemic.

In Central America, amid widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GFC’s partners in are finding creative ways to help children and adolescents continue their studies and combat COVID learning loss. In Nicaragua, for example, CREA has helped students overcome educational barriers before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can support our local partners at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Donate now to help grassroots organizations around the world protect the young people who are most at risk.

Rural Aid demonstrates proper hand washing
Rural Aid demonstrates proper hand washing
A LEEDO outreach worker distributing supplies
A LEEDO outreach worker distributing supplies
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Outreach work in South Asia
Outreach work in South Asia

South Asia is experiencing a second, devastating wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In response, Global Fund for Children has launched an extension relief effort through our Emergency Response Fund to help local partners in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka that are providing direct emergency relief and essential services to children and their communities. 

Throughout the region, the crisis has been exacerbated by limited hospital beds and oxygen supply, and there has been growing concern over the risks posed by COVID-19 variants. In addition, vaccinations are slow to reach those in need, while a lack of information has created an additional barrier to widespread inoculations.

State and social welfare agencies are struggling to support children and youth who have lost one or both parents, become caretakers for their parents or younger siblings, or are out of school and without access to safe spaces, food, and basic hygiene supplies.

GFC’s local partners in this region are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of these children and youth, as well as their communities. Many community-based organizations have stepped up to provide direct emergency support, including food, hygiene supplies, and medicine. They are also continuing to find ways to mitigate the long-term consequences of the pandemic through their existing programs for children and youth promoting livelihoods, gender equity, education, and safety.

In Bangladesh, for example,LEEDO is providing informal schooling, meals, temporary shelters, and permanent housing, in addition to distributing clothing, blankets, food, water, and hygiene supplies. APON is sending students essential books for home study; distributing food packages, masks, and hand sanitizer to hundreds of families; and providing monetary assistance.

In India, Avani is providing children with emergency supplies and COVID-19 prevention information, continuing to educate girls about menstrual health, and finding new ways to help young people. Rural Aid is continuing to protect children and youth at risk of trafficking.

You can support our local partners at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Donate now to help grassroots organizations in South Asia protect the young people who are most at risk.

Entering local shelter in South Asia
Entering local shelter in South Asia
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Herbs from biodiversity walk with Faith Foundation
Herbs from biodiversity walk with Faith Foundation

During the coronavirus pandemic, more than 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries have experienced disruptions to their education, and 24 million children and youth – including more than 11 million girls – may drop out permanently due to the pandemic. The rapid global shift to online learning has also exacerbated the digital divide: two-thirds of school-aged children worldwide have no access to internet at home and are unable to attend virtual classes.

At the same time, the crisis is threatening children’s safety, wellbeing, and mental health. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, an additional 150 million children have been driven into poverty.

In response to this global crisis, we launched our Emergency Response Fund in March 2020 to issue cash grants to community-based organizations serving children who are affected. Since then:

Since our last report, we’ve published new survey data on the impact of COVID-19 on Global Fund for Children’s local partners. They told us about the challenges they are facing and the worries they have, as well as the unique ways they are building resilience to support children during this unprecedented moment.

These community-based organizations have quickly adapted to meet the emergency needs of young people and found creative ways to continue providing crucial services amid pandemic restrictions. In Nepal, one group dedicated to preventing human trafficking began covering rent, medical expenses, and cooking gas for struggling families. In the United Kingdom, a community resource center offered counseling sessions outdoors on park benches. In Mexico and India, local organizations launched radio programs to share vital information about the pandemic and child abuse prevention. These organizations, and many others, are also starting to plan for a future after COVID-19.

Our hope – and our commitment – is to work with and for youth to build a more just world beyond the pandemic. That’s why we started 2021 by creating the transformative Spark Fund as a resource for youth leaders and grassroots organizations leading the charge against injustice and inequality. This initiative is the first global fund for youth leadership that is truly participatory, and it will provide young leaders with flexible funds that allow them to take risks, innovate, experiment, collaborate, and learn.

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CIAM team members pack up food and sanitation kits
CIAM team members pack up food and sanitation kits

As the global coronavirus pandemic exacerbates vulnerabilities for children and youth worldwide, Global Fund for Children’s local partners are at the heart of community responses. Through its Emergency Response Fund, GFC continues to issue grants to grassroots organizations to help keep young people safe.

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic struck worldwide, Global Fund for Children and its local partners rapidly mobilized to respond to young people’s needs. It was clear that the pandemic would have immediate and lasting consequences for children and communities, from loss of family income and food insecurity to lack of access to healthcare, closed schools, and increasing violence at home.

As countries shut down to combat the virus, GFC’s local partners sprang into action to help families without running water receive hygiene kits, girls at risk of abuse find safe shelter, and students without reliable internet connections attend virtual classes. GFC established an Emergency Response Fund to issue cash grants to its partners serving children affected by the pandemic, approving $404,000 in emergency grants for 124 partners worldwide as of the end of September 2020.

Through all of this, GFC is also continuing to support local organizations by providing unrestricted funding, capacity support, and safeguarding practices as partners shift from emergency relief to longer-term adaptation and resilience. Together, GFC and community organizations are planning responses that will help protect and empower young people both during and after COVID-19.

Over the next six months, GFC is committed to distributing more than $1.8 million in grants to community-based organizations responding to COVID-19. This includes at least $570,000 in grants for organizations serving children and youth around the world, as well as £1 million in emergency grants to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME*) communities in England through the Phoenix Fund.

Click this link to read the full special feature. 

Youth paint informative murals about COVID-19
Youth paint informative murals about COVID-19
Community leaders model social distancing
Community leaders model social distancing
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Since mid-March, Global Fund for Children has been working with our community-based partners, who are uniquely positioned to protect children and youth around the world during the coronavirus pandemic. Through our Emergency Response Fund, supporters like you are helping provide grassroots organizations with the immediate resources they need to keep young people safe and healthy during COVID-19 and beyond.
Since our last update:
On June 3, Global Fund for Children's Youth Leadership Council(YLC) invited friends and supporters to hear directly from four local leaders in Kenya, India, Mexico, and Moldova who have received emergency grants. 
The panelists were joined by viewers from across the globe. The global conversation created a firsthand look into how the global pandemic is impacting children and youth and how community-led organizations are mobilizing to respond.
Recognizing the value in the diverse expertise, geographies, and experiences of GFC partners, the Youth Leadership Council created the webinar to amplify on-the-ground accounts of challenges and responses related to the pandemic.
The event was moderated by the Chair of the Youth Leadership Council, Mete.
"It's important that people understand all the different ways the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our global community. From Mexico to Kenya, and India to Moldova, there is obvious overlap, but certain issues are very contextual. I'm glad that the young people in our council could open up this space for learning between GFC partners and those who tuned in," Mete said.
The webinar sparked the interest of hundreds of partners, peer organizations, and individual supporters. One of the questions explored by participants wasWhat do you believe worries children and youth most about COVID-19? The top four responses were education(39%), physical wellbeing(20%), mental health(16%), and child abuse(14%).
To read more about the Youth Leadership Council webinar, click here. 
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Global Fund for Children

Location: Washington, DC - USA
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