World: Impact of COVID-19 on Children in the Middle East and North Africa

Middle East

Highlights

UNICEF and partners reached out directly to nearly 7,000 families in seven countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Syria and Tunisia) through phone interviews during the first months of the pandemic as lockdowns, closures and confinement measures were put in place.

This brief highlights how children’s lives have been impacted during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in several key dimensions critical to children’s development and well-being- including psychological well-being, social relations, education, access to health services and nutrition.

The results of the interviews confirm the pervasive nature of the impact of the ongoing crisis on children’s lives, in all dimensions. Most parents and caregivers interviewed identified the inability of children to play outdoors and socialise as having a negative impact on children’s well-being. Increase in tensions within the households and in family arguments has also been reported by many families interviewed as they struggled under confinement.

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