COVID-19 SPECIAL INTERIM REPORT: USE OF FLEXIBLE FUNDS IN THE COVID-19 RESPONSE
The COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled an unprecedented global crisis that has reversed some development gains for children.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 1.3 billion children have lost access to in-person education following physical distancing requirements, and with it, the school meals that provided a key source of nutrition. Children and women have lost access to critical health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and protection services due to quarantine requirements and the diversion of critical resources from the social sectors that are needed most.
Global economic growth is projected to decline by 4.9 per cent in 20201 , with a cumulative loss of the global economy of over $12 trillion over two years (2020 to 2021). The effects will be felt hardest in the poorest countries and neighbourhoods, and for those in vulnerable situations. The impacts of COVID-19 have pushed an additional 150 million children into poverty.
Throughout the crisis, UNICEF has adapted systems and ensured the continuity of its operations to deliver results for children. Access to, and the use of, flexible funds has been critical for UNICEF in steering much needed resources to the most critical parts of the COVID-19 response and providing effective support to communities and local partners where it is needed most. This special report showcases how flexible funds have been used in the field.