Situation in Numbers
2,057,554 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases (MoH, 30 June 2021)
- 120,140 children and adolescents
192,687 COVID-19 deaths (MoH, 30 June 2021)
- 1,032 children and adolescents
1.05 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in the country
- 190,000 children and adolescents
- 89.6% lack health insurance
- 47.1% children and adolescents not attending classes
Peru has the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world and second highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the region. As of June 30, 2021, there are 2,057,554 confirmed cases and 192,687 deaths, of which 120,140 and 1,032, respectively, are children and adolescents. With a population of 32 million and less than 3,000 ICU beds available nationwide, the health system is struggling to cope with the situation.
The socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 have been devastating. By December 2020, 1.2 million children were pushed into poverty as Peru’s GDP fell by 11%, the worst setback in 30 years. Due to the pandemic, 705,000 children interrupted their studies or are at risk of doing so, while UNICEF estimates a 10.7% increase in anemia and 8.5% reduction in vaccinations among children under the age of 3. The lockdown has had a devastating impact on children and adolescents’ mental health, with close to one third at risk of suffering from psychological difficulties (UNICEF, 2021).
In addition, Peru has the second largest population of Venezuelan migrants in the region, hosting 1.05 million of which over 190,000 are children and adolescents. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, mandatory quarantine increased social, economic and physical vulnerability among incoming and settled Venezuelan families, and increased exposure to violence. As the number of migrants and refugees entering Peru through irregular pathways continues to increase, the lack of a valid identity document in Peru is an important barrier to access public health services and the social protection measures implemented by the State. Mostly in the informal labour market, migrant parents have been pushed back to work, increasing risk of contagion, and overcrowded living conditions favour COVID-19 transmission.
In the midst of a heated presidential election and political uncertainty, the pandemic has increased the risks faced by the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, families living in poverty or headed by self-employed workers, whose livelihoods have been impacted by the quarantine, as well as indigenous communities with limited access to health services, and migrants and displaced people in overcrowded living conditions with limited or inexistent local support networks.
UNICEF’s response strategy focuses on helping ensure children’s rights are fulfilled. Since the start of 2021, main results include:
Reach of 264.6 million in UNICEF's COVID-19 related messages on social media, as well as 2.3M engagements and 6.2M video views.
#Regresemos (#LetsGoBack) campaign to advocate for a safe, flexible, gradual and voluntary return to school had a reach of over 27 million on social media and at least 530,500 people via TV and radio.
7 studies on COVID-19 and migration’s impact on children in Peru.
31,198 children and adolescents accessed UNICEF-supported Chat 100 to report cases of violence and receive support or referrals.
230,392 women, children and adolescents received maternal, child and adolescent health services in UNICEF-supported facilities, including 123,468 women, 60,315 girls and 46,609 boys. Of the total, 1,296 were migrants.
16,568 people benefitted from hygiene kits: 1914 and 1904 indigenous girls and boys, and 618 and 674 migrant girls and boys.
107,250 views of YouTube psychosocial support videos elaborated with Ministry of Education.