Migrant workers and children view a performance by Magician Rajkumar at a shelter home during coronavirus lockdown Thursday in New Delhi, India.
HINDUSTAN TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES
The United Nations warned Thursday that the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic may be more dangerous than the virus itself for the world’s children, claiming that in 2020 hundreds of thousands could die and tens of millions more be plunged into poverty.
The U.N. estimates that between 42 million and 66 million children could fall into poverty as a result of coronavirus—in addition to the estimated 386 million children living in extreme poverty last year—and could lead to malnutrition and an increase in preventable diseases in children.
This could cause hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths before the end of the year, the U.N. said, and reverse the progress made over the past several years in reducing infant mortality.
According to the U.N., the strain on healthcare systems caused by coronavirus has also prevented families from being able to access standard care and immunizations against diseases like polio, measles and other deadly diseases that kill children.