World Vision has estimated that about 85 million children across the world are going to be exposed to physical, sexual and emotional violence in the next three months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which has hit the world in recent times.
The international faith – based aid agency indicated that as a result of the imposition of various restrictions across the world, millions have found refuge in their homes exposing them to all forms of abuses as schools and community centres can no longer protect vulnerable children as has always been the case.
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of World Vision International, Andrew Morley, noted that from the experiences gathered as a result of the Ebola pandemic, they are “concerned that the coronavirus pandemic poses a new and grave global threat to children’s safety as quarantine measures isolate families, and economic and social pressures take their toll.”
In a press release dated on May 15, 2020, World Vision maintained that their report indicates that in numerous countries they have discovered reported incidents of child abuse and violence spike since the lockdown measures were imposed.
“For example in Bangladesh, April’s national impact and needs assessment compiled by a range of stakeholders including World Vision revealed that beatings by parents or guardians had increased by 42 per cent…”
Thus, World Vision is calling upon all governments of the world to as a matter of urgency prioritize the vulnerable children and make sure they are not forgotten so as to prevent the aftershocks that will occur due to increased violence and abuse in the future.
The international child focused aid agency recently launched a US$350m response that focuses on supporting the world’s most vulnerable combat the impacts of COVID-19. The ambitious response plan will be executed in over 70 countries where 37,000 staff, 400,000 faith leaders and 220,000 community health workers will be mobilised to support prevention and response initiatives.