The global response to COVID-19 has focused on prevention, detection, and response. In addition to significant concerns related to morbidity and mortality, the pandemic has had profound secondary impacts. A grave concern is the loss of caregivers, with current estimates that more than 5 million children worldwide have experienced the death of a primary caregiver. This means that over the past six months, one child has been affected every six seconds. Children who have lost primary caregivers often face even more adverse consequences, including poverty, abuse, and institutionalization. As with so many aspects of the COVID-19 emergencies, this highlights existing fragilities and inequalities, and it calls us to urgent action. Addressing the loss these children have experienced—and the risks they now face—must be a priority for our collective response now and in the future, at Georgetown University and beyond.
This panel discussed coronavirus-associated caregiver loss and the work being done by the international community, the U.S. government, and faith-based actors to support vulnerable children and turn the tide toward better care. It was moderated by Gillian Huebner, executive director of the Georgetown University Collaborative on Global Children’s Issues.
This event was co-sponsored by Georgetown University's Collaborative on Global Children's Issues, Global Health Initiative, and Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.