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Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19 - Social protection in high-income countries
High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependents – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline. Research on what the crisis – and the response to the crisis – could mean for children is both necessary and timely.
Child-sensitive approaches to crisis recovery – ensuring that children are protected from harm, that their services are ring-fenced, and that they are seen as a priority group in the response – are not simply driven by good intentions, but should be seen as vital to ensuring that future generations are equipped to avoid crises such as COVID-19. As a second wave of COVID-19 hits, and immunizations are beginning to be rolled-out, many high-income countries can still do more to manage the recovery of the crisis in ways that do not exacerbate inequalities for children and families, and in so doing, can protect children’s futures.