With over 10.6 million confirmed cases and 155,000 deaths 1 the COVID19 pandemic situation is not yet under control across South Asia region. The increase in number of cases in Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka combined with the onset of winter season has raised concerns for a potential second wave.
While schools have started re-opening in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, across the region schools have been closed on average of 5 months due the pandemic which has negatively impacted on the learning of 434 million children.
UNICEF continues to support governments to safely re-open schools while at the same time providing homebased and online learning opportunities. A total of 63.5million children (66% target) have been reached with homebased learning including 171,631 refugee children.
An estimated 23 million people (95% of the target) benefitted from critical WASH supplies and services programme including 303,000 health workers (102% of target) equipped with personal protective equipment • A total of 29 million women and children (66% of the target) including 100,698 Rohingya refugees with essential health care services including immunization, prenatal and postnatal care. This has helped to reverse the declining trend of service utilization observed at the beginning of the pandemic.
Over 1.9 million children, parents and primary caregivers benefitted from community-based mental health and psychosocial support services including 20,000 children provided with alternative care arrangements.
UNICEF is appealing for $293.9 million to prevent and respond to COVID-19 pandemic impacts. For 2021, UNICEF South Asia is seeking $492 million to prepare for COVAX vaccines, prevent the spread and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on essential basic services such as health, education and child protection.