UNICEF’s Eastern Caribbean representative Pieter Bult during a recent visit to Saint Lucia highlighted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, indicating that they have been hardest hit.
“I would say that children actually bear the brunt of the pandemic,” Bult asserted during an appearance on the Government Information Service (GIS) Programme Issues and Answers.
He explained that lockdowns had affected children’s mental health, their psycho-social well-being, and their education.
According to the UNICEF official, many children were unable to follow online learning.
“I think even more than half probably were not able to follow online learning. So we have lost two years of education,” Bult noted.
In addition, he noted that poverty had increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We noted an increase in violence – domestic violence. Families being at home, not being able to go, no livelihoods – increasing demands and pressures on households,” the UNICEF official observed.
He indicated that this impacted mental health and contributed to increased violence.
Bult said the pandemic did a lot of damage with children bearing the brunt of it.
“And this is something now, coming out of the pandemic, we really have to focus on and address,” Bult declared.