Published: 2020-08-30 15:10
Last Updated: 2020-08-30 15:43
The number of families with a monthly income of less than JD 100 has doubled since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a study by UNICEF has revealed.
According to the report, 28% of Jordanian children go to bed hungry during lockdown and the percentage decreased to 15% after the lockdown was lifted.
During the coronavirus pandemic, 28% of families have enough funding for only two weeks to cover their expenses and 68% of families have been disrupted by the pandemic, according to the study.
Four out of 10 Jordanian and Syrian families were unable to purchase personal hygiene products, and eight out of 10 families adopted negative coping mechanisms to adapt to the conditions over the past three months.
Negative coping strategies include: using credit or borrowing money to purchase food; selling household assets such as the TV or furniture; moving to reduce rent expenses; sending children to work or to beg to provide for the household; and adult members of the households accepting socially degrading, exploitive, high risk or illegal temporary jobs.
Basic vaccinations were not given to 17% of children under the age of five and 23% of sick children did not receive necessary medical care during the pandemic, which is largely due to fear of coronavirus transmission and the lack of financial capacity for treatment.
The study also found 89% of young women performed household duties, including providing care, compared to 49% of young men.
UNICEF's Representative in Jordan, Tania Shapuisat, said: “The negative indirect effects of the coronavirus pandemic were dire for the most vulnerable families who were facing severe pressures to provide a safe, adequate, and healthy environment for their children.”
The National Social Protection Strategy 2019-2025, which was launched by the Jordanian government as a comprehensive umbrella for all social protection programmes, targeting the most vulnerable groups at a national level, would be supported by UNICEF.
UNICEF also expanded the scope of cash assistance by increasing beneficiaries from the Hajati programme to support 30,000 children in response to the pandemic.
The study is focussed on the social and economic challenges facing the most vulnerable children and youth and their parents in Jordan during the pandemic.