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World Vision: Millions of Children Pushed into Child Labor as COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Economies, Global Hunger


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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused as many as 8 million children to be pushed into child labor and begging due to the worldwide economic effects resulting from the virus. 

World Vision reports the impact of the virus is threatening to reverse gains made in reducing child labor, which has gone down by 94 million cases in the last 20 years. 

In addition, at least 110 million children have gone hungry due to the pandemic, according to assessments the Christian humanitarian aid organization made in 24 countries. 

"Without immediate action to protect people's livelihoods now, the impact of this pandemic will reverse progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, and irreparably damage the lives of current and future generations of children," the organization's new report titled Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks, says.

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Warnings about the economic and human toll from the pandemic have also come from several international organizations. 

The United Nations projects that up to 66 million more children could fall into extreme poverty because of the pandemic, adding to the 385 million children already living in extreme poverty. 

The Lancet, a British health journal, also predicts reduced access to nutritious food could lead to an additional 1.15 million child deaths. 

The World Food Programme has also warned the number of people requiring life-saving food assistance could double to 265 million people worldwide. 

World Vision says its field data from 14,000 households in Asia, 2,400 small business owners in Africa, and more than 360 Venezuelan migrants across Latin America confirm the predictions made by other global agencies about the pandemic's impact are already occurring in various parts of the world. 

"Our findings are confirming that predicted drops in income, food and child protection due to COVID-19 have already begun, and could lead to an increase in extreme poverty and hunger not seen for decades," the report warns. 

Other key findings in the World Vison's report include:

  • 85 million households across Asia have no or limited food stocks
  • 80 percent of Venezuelan migrants surveyed in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela reported a significant drop in income
  • 83 percent of migrants said that food was scarce to the extent that every third child is going to bed hungry -- potentially more than 1 million children
  • 69 percent of people surveyed reported that they are currently earning less than half of pre-COVID-19 income with the majority of respondents forced to turn to a common coping mechanism: spending less on healthy food. 

To read World Vison's "Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks" report, click here

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