Mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and nutrition of schoolchildren

While cases of COVID-19 appear to be fewer among children (and symptoms generally milder), national responses to the pandemic can have important consequences for child nutrition and educational outcomes. Nearly 1.5 billion children – more than half of the world’s student population – are being kept away from school due to pandemic response measures. Nationwide school closures are in force in more than 180 countries while in many others there are localized closures which threaten to become countrywide. The disruption and closure of schools around the world will have a negative impact not just on children’s right to education but on other human rights including their right to adequate food. More than 350 million schoolchildren in countries with nationwide and localized closures, might not have access to regular school feeding and nutrition services during the pandemic.