Puseletso asks the youth reporters from around South Africa to take off their journalistic hats for a brief moment to talk freely about what’s been most frustrating about the lockdown. In this piece, they all agree that as much as the lockdown has helped the country to contain the spread of COVID-19, they can’t help but feel concern for the negative impact it’s had on vulnerable communities.
FACTS & DEFINITIONS:
Before the pandemic, two-thirds of children worldwide did not have access to any form of social protection, making it impossible for families to withstand financial shocks when they hit and furthering the vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty. Hundreds of millions of children remain multidimensionally poor – meaning they lack access to health care, education, proper nutrition, or adequate housing – often a reflection of inequitable investments by governments in social services. For children living in countries already affected by conflict and violence, the impact of this crisis will further increase the risk of instability and of households falling into poverty. To address and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in poor households, there needs to be rapid expansion of social protection systems and programmes including cash transfers, school feeding and child benefits – all critical investments that address immediate financial needs and lay the foundation for countries to prepare for future shocks.