BANGALORE, INDIA — According to a report by World Vision up to 8 million children have been pushed into child labor and begging due to the worldwide economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Millions of parents and caregivers in developing countries around the world have lost incomes and jobs due to COVID-19, forcing them to expose their children to harmful and dangerous circumstances such as begging or child labor. World Vision has conducted rapid assessments in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia confirming alarming predictions of increased child hunger, violence, and poverty due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
Cherian Thomas, World Vision’s Regional Leader for South Asia Pacific based in Bangalore in India explains how this crisis has impacted their region.
In our sample of the communities that we surveyed in Asia Pacific region, we cover a total of 9 countries, over 60% of people had loss of livelihood and loss of income because of their lost livelihood opportunities. And that is therefore quite serious. Children in one sense were being sent out to work and children were sometimes were being asked to beg. And sometimes older children when they see hunger at home and problems at the home they have gone to beg because they just saw how dire the family situation was and they thought they could contribute by going out and begging.
Thomas says in response World Vision launched a program to help the most vulnerable families.
It is about making sure that from a livelihood point of view and in the short-term livelihood loss is covered by what we call cash and voucher programming. So by the end of June in our Asia Pacific area itself we had distributed about $11.4 million of cash and voucher assistance to families. So that allows them a certain degree of cash is available to them which they can use for essential supplies and we have monitoring and checks and balances which ensure these are finely used for buying essentials for the household, food for children, nutritious food. And we discovered almost half a million people who were reached with cash and voucher assistance.
About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Founded in 1950, World Vision serves close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries, including the United States. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
World Vision empowers children, families, and communities to escape poverty and injustice through programs like child sponsorship, clean water, education, food security, farming and agriculture, economic development, disaster relief, medical care, clothing and shelter, spiritual nurture, trafficking prevention, and advocacy on behalf of those whom we serve.
- Global News Alliance, World Vision Responds as Pandemic Pushes Millions into Child Labor
- World Vision UK, Official Website