The High Cost of COVID-19 for Children: Strategies for Mitigating its Impact in Latin America and the Caribbean
The pandemic may have a devastating impact on childrens physical, mental, and socioemotional development, both in the short and the long run. These repercussions have received little attention because of the low rates of COVID-19 in this population. However, child mortality, morbidity, and poverty are projected to rise, resulting in major losses of human capital and deepening inequality. Lack of access to basic services (sanitation, health, education), disparities in parenting skills, limited internet connectivity, and unequal access to technology will further widen the socioeconomic gap in child development. Nonetheless, this crisis also offers a chance to transform early childhood services, making them more cost-effective, equitable, and resilient, as we see happening in various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This paper compiles and lays out strategies for innovative new ways to provide services and mitigate the crisis impact on children.