World Bank warns of severe crisis in child education and health amid COVID-19

Syed Umarullah HussainiWeb Editor

17th Sep, 2020. 09:09 am
World Bank

The World Bank warned on Thursday that the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 has put progress made in the last decade in improving child education and health among the poor countries at risk.

According to the details, these statements highlighted in the Washington-based development lender’s Human Capital Index for 2020.

The index ranks countries on how well children are prepared for the future, with an emphasis on factors like schooling and healthcare.

This year’s report shows that most countries, particularly poorer ones, have made steady gains in improving health and education prior to the pandemic.

Despite that, the World Bank said in a statement a child in a low-income country will likely achieve only 56% of their human capital compared to one with access to complete education and proper healthcare.

The indicator purports to measure the level in life that a child born today can hope to reach by age 18.

World Bank President David Malpass told those gains are now jeopardised by the pandemic.

“Human capital is absolutely vital to the financial and economic future of the country as well as the social well being,” he said.

In addition to this, World Bank President David Malpass said inequalities among children set to increase that may result in disturbing trends such as the eighty million children lacking essential vaccinations.

“We think more than one billion children have been out of school due to COVID-19, and (they) could lose as much as $10 trillion in lifetime earnings,” he said, citing their reduced education level as well as the potential they would drop out of school.

However, he warned girls to face a “disproportionate” risk and called on countries to invest in education broadly.

First launched in 2018, this year’s Human Capital Index includes data from 174 countries representing 98 percent of the world’s population.

Pakistan Praised For Timely Efforts

It is pertinent to mention here that a British based monthly news magazine, ‘The Asian World’, issued a list of 10 international leaders who fought hard to overcome the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, and Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan is on top of the list.

Moreover, among other leaders, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Finland premier, Sanna Marin, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and former Prime Minister PM of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, also placed in the top ten.

The complete list is given below:

1. Imran Khan, current Prime Minister of Pakistan

2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswoman for New York, USA

3. Jacinda Ardern, current Prime Minister of New Zealand

4. Sanna Marin, current Prime Minister of Finland

5. Ilhan Omar, Congresswoman for Minnesota, USA

6. Justin Trudeau, current Prime Minister PM of Canada

7. Syed Zulfikar Bukhari, SAPM on Overseas Pakistani

8. Leo Varadkar, former Prime Minister of Ireland

9. Jagmeet Singh, Canadian Member of Parliament

10. Fawzia Zainal, Bahraini, elected first woman speaker of Bahraini

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