The Hidden Impact of COVID-19 on Child Poverty

Lavinia Loperfido, Melissa Burgess, Nicole Dulieu, Chiara Orlassino, Munshi Sulaiman, Silvia Mila Arlini - Save the Children International


COVID-19 has spread rapidly within and between countries across the globe. Governments worldwide have implemented measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 including school closures, home isolation/quarantine and community lockdown, all of which have had secondary impacts on children and their households. Save the Children launched a global research study to generate rigorous evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and measures implemented to mitigate it are impacting children’s health, nutrition, learning, wellbeing, protection, family finances and poverty, and to identify children’s and their families’ needs during these times.

The research also captures children’s views and messages for leaders and other children. The research was implemented in 46 countries and resulted in the largest and most comprehensive survey of children and families during the COVID-19 crisis to date, with 31,683 parents and caregivers and 13,477 children aged between 11 and 17 participating in the research. The research sampled three distinct population groups: 1. Save the Children programme participants; 2. specific population groups of interest to Save the Children; and 3. the general public.

A representative sample of Save the Children programme participants with telephone numbers or email addresses was obtained in 37 of the 46 countries. Purposive samples of specific population groups that Save the Children work with, for example people living in camps for displaced persons or urban slums, were also obtained in some countries. Additionally, a convenience sample of the general public was obtained.

This report is one in a series presenting findings from the Global COVID-19 Research Study. The results presented in this report focus on implications for child poverty, drawing on data from our representative sample of 17,565 parents/caregivers and 8,069 children in our programme participants group. Comparisons with our general public sample are made at times. The research presents differences in the impacts on and needs of children by region, age, gender, disability, minority group, indicators of poverty and more.