Children and COVID-19 Research Library Quarterly Digest (May 2022)


Progress towards SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – was already in jeopardy before COVID-19. The world was facing a learning crisis, with 48% of children unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of 10.

For the most marginalized children, the learning crisis was even more severe. In low-income countries, 94% of girls (and 93% of boys) were not able to read by the age of 10, compared with 7% of girls (and 8% of boys) in high-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing disparities to the detriment of the girls and boys who were already being left behind.

This digest spotlights 13 research papers, and summarizes lessons and evidence of the impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized girls’ learning, drawing from UNICEF Innocenti’s Children and COVID-19 Research Library launched in 2020.

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