Price, 1 February 2022 (TDI): In an article by UNICEF, Jasmine Byrne and Lawrence Chandy have brought up a significant point, under the subject “What’s in store for children in 2022?”

Children’s futures will improve if the reaction to the epidemic is reshaped.

The new year is connected with many things, including new year’s resolutions, fireworks, and forecasts for the next year. Every one retains an opinion, whether it is from The Economists or the IMF.

Children, on the other hand, are rarely included in these studies. In this aspect, UNICEF can help. In its latest global outlook study in regard to Prospects for Children 2022, UNICEF evaluates what must be done to guarantee that every child lives and thrives in the most effective possible way.

This year’s study examines ten themes predicted to define the forthcoming year and explains how they will affect youngsters. As the world reaches the third year of the epidemic, the toll on children is becoming clear: a historic spike in child poverty.

Reductions in routine immunizations have an impact on future generations’ schooling The epidemic will continue to harm youngsters, as it has in the preceding two years. Even in the third year of the epidemic, it is far from over, and the death toll continues to increase.

This was a repeating error in 2021, as the world was hesitant to unify in its reaction. Due to the same lack of collaboration, the G20 aim of vaccinating 70% of the population in each nation by mid-year will be jeopardized in 2022.

The longer the virus is allowed to evade detection, the more difficult it will be to contain it afterwards. Aside from unequal vaccination availability, COVID-19 has undergone a distinctively unbalanced crisis: learning losses have disproportionately impacted impoverished children, and job losses have disproportionately impacted women and adolescents.

Inequities will persist into 2022, with access to COVID RNA dosages and boosters being restricted, and access to life-saving therapies such as Paxlovid becoming even more restricted.

Wealthy countries are expected to return to pre-pandemic economic levels by the end of the year, while low-income countries will remain below the trend. Furthermore, many nations anticipate the rapid removal of policy assistance owing to economic limitations, threatening public services for children and enhanced social protection measures that are critical to many families.

It's time to make a change.
It’s time to make a change.
Long-term consequences

Children in affluent nations are more likely to recover from the epidemic than children in impoverished countries, although children in humanitarian circumstances are still at danger. Humanitarian needs are predicted to reach an all-time high in 2022.

The effects of climate change will increase vulnerability, creating new disasters and increasing instability. The global response to COVID shows that multilateralism is in poor health, and wars and climate change remind that this decline is occurring at a time when it is most needed.

As a result of climate change, new disasters will be created, instability will be exacerbated, and existing vulnerabilities will be exposed.

Children may also be affected by other sources of instability. Combat will be changed by weaponized drones, and hackers will target schools and other institutions where children rely upon them. Those whose livelihoods are dependent on global food and energy markets are particularly vulnerable to inflationary pressures.

It’s time to make a change

It is imperative that the world’s COVID strategy be reframed in a few years to focus not only on controlling the virus but also on its social consequences, particularly for children. Maintaining student safety requires keeping schools open and offering families the tools they need.

Families and children can be safeguarded from the economic adjustments that will follow if recovery packages place them at the centre, together with the products and services they rely on.

Through investments in education, nutrition, and mental health, the lost ground is being regained. In addition, it will improve healthcare systems and increase access to primary care in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The positive outlook of children and youth about the future is despite these obstacles, and 2022 will provide an opportunity for them to prove themselves right.
In response to climate change, new disasters will be triggered, instability will be exacerbated, and existing vulnerabilities will be exposed.

Children are likely to face other sources of instability. Drones equipped with weapons will transform warfare, while cyberattacks increasingly target institutions that children depend on, such as schools.

A rise in inflation threatens the purchasing power of households, especially those that are most exposed to global food and energy markets.

Change is needed

In 2022, the world must refocus its COVID strategy so that it not only focuses on mitigating the virus but also on mitigating its effect on society, particularly children. A commitment is needed to keeping schools open and providing the resources families and schools need to keep kids in school and learning.

Families and children must be put first, as well as the goods and services they depend on, at the centre of recovery plans and protect them from the fiscal adjustments that are expected to follow.

Investments in learning, nutrition, and mental health are needed to recover from the pandemic. The world’s poorest countries must strengthen their health systems and expand access to primary healthcare.

Children and young people are optimistic about the future, despite these challenges, and 2022 will provide an opportunity to prove them right.

By developing technology and infrastructure for the pandemic, the next revolution in child survival can be driven. It is expected that the first mRNA-based TB, malaria, and HIV vaccines will enter clinical trials in 2022 or 2023, at the same time that the RTS-S malaria vaccine is being rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa.

Furthermore, green investments are expected to be a driving force for growth in 2022. Electric vehicle sales are expected to more than double over the next five years, and renewable energy will account for 95% of new energy generation, creating new jobs for young people and reducing climate change.

In addition, emergency pandemic policies, including expanded childcare and mental health services, as well as more generous and universal social protection programs, offer a chance to enhance child protection and support, and, as a result, repair trust between governments and citizens.