Kathmandu: According to a survey by UNICEF and Sharecast Initiative Nepal, conducted under the title ‘Child and Family Tracker’, in July 2020 more than 60 percent of the households with children lost income and livelihood.
“Although the percent of the households with livelihood and income loss has been decreasing substantially since then, a significant percent remains at risk of falling into poverty, ” the survey report states. “As of November 2021, 33 percent of households were at risk of poverty.”
The survey found out that the major emerging needs of families in the pandemic are reportedly financial assistance, food and employment. Families continue to incur debt and deplete assets as a coping mechanism.
The nationwide remote survey was conducted from May 2020. UNICEF & Sharecast Initiative Nepal implemented 8 rounds to monitor and track changes in more than 6,000 households’ livelihood, WASH, and children’s access to education, including food intake and healthcare of children, breastfeeding and pregnant mothers.
Likewise, the report also states that 21 percent of households with children struggled to obtain enough food in November 2021. Nearly 10 percent of these households reduced the dietary intake of their children.
According to a report, 60 percent of parents feel confident about sending their children back to school and 80 percent feel that their children are falling behind their studies.
If we will not be able to address these impacts of Covid, there is the risk of losing the gains we made in the past, said Thakur Dhakal, social policy specialist at UNICEF Nepal, during the presentation of the report that took place on Friday. “It could lead to social and political tension. And achieving the SDG goals could be challenging,” he said.
He urged the government to use social protection policy as an instrument to overcome these issues created during the pandemic.
“Government has introduced various measures including the cash to support 500,000 most vulnerable families which probably need to scale up depending on the impact of the third wave,” Dhakal added.
Similarly, the survey has also made other findings related to children’s education. According to a report, 60 percent of parents feel confident about sending their children back to school and 80 percent feel that their children are falling behind their studies. Likewise, the report also says that the pandemic has developed a negative attitude in children.
“20 percent of the children have increased anger and aggression,” the report states.
“The compelling situation to remain isolated in one specific place and unable to interact with friends increased anger and aggression among the children,” said Dhakal. “The caretakers informed us about the anger and aggression that their children adopted.”