Before the advent of the pandemic, child poverty was prevalent in Canada but according to a report from UNICEF, child poverty could keep rising for a minimum of five years.
The report has it that countries in the OECD and EU only devouted two percent of their pandemic-related financial relief to helpt children and their families during the first wave of the pandemic. It revealed that these countries allocated $10.8 trillion USD to COVID-19 responses but around 90 percent of that amount was spent on stimulus packages channeled to business.
In Canada, governments announced or implemented $281 billion in fiscal activities while it’s social protection response was discovered to be way bigger than that of a lot of other countries.
While the income replacement program of CERB did offer some support to people directly, in order to claim the benefit, one must have been working, as such, the most marginalized families like those detached from the labour market could not claim the benefit.
While talking about the severity of the risks that children are encountering, the President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, David Morley said: “The amount of financial relief currently allocated to children and families does not match the severity of the risks children are facing; especially the most marginalized children and their families, where the worst off will be hardest hit.”
Before the pandemic, UNICEF disclosed that one in five youth and children living in Canada was encountering difficulty. The body said Canada ranked 30th out of 38 wealthy countries in terms of support creation for children.
The Canadian government jerked up its monthly, universal Child Benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic but the UNICEF report recommended that it increases the payments for the lowest-income households. The report also recommended that governments should avoid widespread closure of schools and that government should add healthy school meals as that would help children and youth bounce back from the effects of the pandemic.