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Eight in ten children learned little or nothing during school closures while violence at home doubled, survey finds

Priscovia, 17, from Zambia, said: “We ask for governments to spend more money to make sure that we can continue learning while at home by providing radios, TVs and internet learning. They must make sure that children in rural areas and from poor families also get to learn. We want to see mobile libraries passing in our communities delivering books for us to learn.”    

The survey also found that more than three in four households had reported an income loss since the beginning of the pandemic, with poorer families more likely to see their incomes hit (82 per cent) than non-poor (70 per cent). 

This loss of income had a knock-on effect on family healthcare, the charity found, with nine in ten households that lost over half their income reporting difficulties in accessing health services. Almost two-thirds of households (62 per cent) also found it difficult to provide their families with nutritious food.

Girls are also more heavily impacted by the pandemic than boys: 20 per cent of girls said they had learned nothing during school closures, compared with 10 per cent of boys. Worse still, it is estimated that the pandemic could cause thirteen  million additional child marriages by 2030, and disruptions to health services could lead to a loss of access to contraception for 47 million women. 

“A 16 year old girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo told us how following the closure of the market due to lockdown measures girls from families who can’t feed themselves are forced to turn to older men for support,” said Ms Sweet.

“Young women and girls are likely to suffer disproportionately from the crisis. Many have weaker safety nets to start with,” she added. 

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