At a glance
People infected: 35,980,000+
Countries & territories affected: 180+ (interactive map)
People recovered: 25,031,000+
Funding needed: £1.54 billion
Unicef’s priority: Prevent the spread of the virus by mobilising medical supplies, consulting communities and implementing prevention campaigns.
Read more in our FAQs section.
Last updated: 7 October 2020
Together, we are here for children
Coronavirus is the biggest global crisis for children since World War Two. Unicef is launching its largest-ever appeal to help tackle the impact of coronavirus on children and families around the world. We are here for children always and we won’t stop now.
With schools closed, Unicef has already reached 224 million children with distance or home-based learning. And we’re looking to reach 123 million more.
Watch now: Daniel Walden, Senior Emergencies Specialist at Unicef UK, explains how we are responding to the global coronavirus crisis.
What you can do
- Donate now to support Unicef’s work for children and families in countries with weaker health systems.
- Add your name to our open letter, asking the UK government to address the nation’s children in a special age-appropriate broadcast.
- Do your bit to call out bullying and stigmatisation. Don’t attach locations or ethnicity to the virus. Racial discrimination and bullying are always wrong. Let’s be kind, support each other and do our part to #ENDviolence.
Other things to remember
- Stick to the facts and be mindful. Don’t get caught up in, or contribute to, the noise. Remember children and others around you can pick up on your response to the news. Stay calm and informed.
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Remember that the UK has a strong, functioning health system. Act on the advice of the UK government.
What is Unicef doing to help?
Unicef UK has launched #GenerationCovid, its biggest-ever appeal, to help tackle the impact of coronavirus and help vulnerable children and families around the world.
Unicef has already reached more than 1.6 billion people with messages about preventing the spread of coronavirus and providing access to services.
In the UK
Unicef is here to help children, parents and teachers in every way we can. With our schools shut, exams and children’s activities cancelled,
- we will continue to ensure that the inspiring and unique voices of children are heard.
- we are providing teachers with resources on helping children and young people learn about rights from home.
- we are calling on the UK government to address the impact of this crisis on children in its immediate and long-term response.
Around the world
Unicef has been working closely with governments and the World Health Organization (WHO) since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Our goal is to limit the spread of the virus and reduce the impact on children and families. We urgently need funds to expand the scale and scope of our work, especially in countries with weaker health systems.
Unicef is helping to prevent infection and reduce the impact of coronavirus on children and families through:
- supplying soap, clean water and vital medical equipment, such as surgical gloves
- health care support for women, children and vulnerable communities and access to education and child protection services
- handwashing campaigns and information on how communities can best protect themselves
- data collection and analysis of the impact of the crisis on women and children.
These are uncertain times for everyone, but Unicef is equipped to help children and families. We’re fighting against a new virus. We’re debunking myths. We’re working with governments and other organisations to keep children safe and ensure their rights to health care, education and play.
Donate now and help save #GenerationCovid.
How can I speak to children about the Coronavirus?
We understand that children may feel anxious or worried about coronavirus, and parents and teachers may be unsure how to talk about the issue. Check out our guide for children and young people. Here are some additional tips:
- Listen first. Does your child/pupil want to talk about it? Take their lead.
- Stick to the facts. It’s important to be honest with children about what is happening.
- Be part of the solution. Talk to your child/pupil about what they can do, such as covering their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing their hands regularly with soap and water.
- Be mindful. Remember children can pick up on your response to the news. Stay calm and informed.
- Act on advice. Governments are taking swift action to control the virus. Please follow the advice of the UK government.
- Be kind. Supporting other people, especially the most vulnerable, will help reduce the impact of the virus.