In this time of crisis, the most urgent imperative is to protect underprivileged families from starvation -SY Quraishi

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published Published on Jun 27, 2020   modified Modified on Jun 27, 2020

-The Indian Express

There is an urgent requirement to put money in the hands of the impoverished to support them during the pandemic. This has been the refrain of the Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee. Further, the government must tighten the implementation of its critical schemes related to nutrition, food security and healthcare.

The COVID-19 pandemic is flaring up into a mass humanitarian crisis. Its foremost victim will be innocent children who have had their childhood stolen from them since the pandemic surfaced. Even when/if the health crisis subsides, its ramifications in the form of economic depression would indirectly dent their developmental years for some time to come.

This global threat has also been flagged in the UNICEF’s and the ILO’s combined report — “COVID19 and Child Labour” — which forecasts that the number of people facing extreme poverty could increase by 40 to 60 million this year alone. Due to the probability of “reduced opportunities in the labour market for parents”, millions of children will be at an increased risk of finding themselves in exploitative and hazardous work. In addition to this, the UN’s policy brief — “The Impact of COVID19 on Children” — has observed that “hundreds of thousands of children deaths” would be a dire consequence of the economic recession (the report also highlights the possibility of underestimating the number).

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The Indian Express, 27 June, 2020,

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