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We need to #EndCOVIDForAll

This COVID-19 crisis is not going to end for anyone, until it ends for everyone.

That’s why ChildFund Australia has joined the campaign to #EndCOVIDForAll.

While Australia has been able to ‘flatten the curve’, and has a strong health system in place to manage new outbreaks, many of our neighbours are ill-equipped to deal with a pandemic.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warns that the impacts of COVID-19 are falling “disproportionately on the most vulnerable: people living in poverty, the working poor, women and children, persons with disabilities, and other marginalised groups”.

The pandemic, and the response to it, is having a profound effect on children’s physical health, mental wellbeing, education, social development, protection, and participation.

Margaret Sheehan, CEO of ChildFund Australia, says: “The collateral damage of COVID-19 on vulnerable children is as big a risk as the virus itself.”

All children in all countries are affected; the virus knows no borders. ChildFund Australia is deeply concerned about the short and long-term repercussions the pandemic will have on the children and families with whom we work:

Disruptions to education: In many developing communities, schools have closed and there is a real risk that thousands of children may never return. This means they lose the chance to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and the generations that follow.

Food insecurity: Food is scarce because of disrupted supply chains and lockdown laws. The economic impact on already low-income families has been enormous, and parents are struggling to pay for basic needs such as food and shelter.

Overburdened health systems: Health clinics are struggling to cope, and many immunisation campaigns have been suspended. Around the world, hundreds of doctors and nurses have died from COVID-19 because of shortages in personal protective equipment and overworking.

Child protection risks: The psychological stress on families is enormous. Many parents have lost work and face an uncertain future. Sadly, this has resulted in an increase in domestic violence, with children both experiencing or witnessing abuse in their homes.

Impact on emotional wellbeing: Measures to contain the virus, such as the closure of public recreational spaces and schools, mean there are fewer opportunities for children and young people to play, socialise and connect to their peers. This is having a negative impact on both their physical and emotional wellbeing.

Without our help, COVID-19 could push more than 70 million people into extreme poverty.

It is time we offered a helping hand. Because as Australians, we take care of our neighbours.

Together, we can provide vital support to vulnerable children and families. It’s the only way we can end COVID for all.

Because it’s not over until it’s over for everyone.

Pledge your support for Australia to provide vital support to vulnerable children and families, and #EndCOVIDForAll.

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