8 trends that will impact children in 2023

The war in Ukraine has resulted in high food and energy prices, global hunger and inflation – just one example of how the crises affect millions of people around the world, including children, influence each other.

The report, “Children’s Prospects 2023: A Global Outlook”, also looks at a range of other key areas, from the continued impact of COVID-19 pandemic to internet fragmentation and the climate emergency. Here are eight insights included in the study.

1) Pandemic casts a long shadow, but health breakthroughs offer hope

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for strong global health security, and many countries remain at risk. Unfortunately, children are often the most vulnerable – if not to the virus itself, then many of its effects.

At the same time, the pandemic has spurred significant progress in vaccine development and global health system reform, and in 2023 it is essential that the world continues to strengthen the health structure across the globe. world.

A child is vaccinated by a Health Ministry employee in the Ghwairan neighborhood, Hasakeh city, northeastern Syria, on October 26, 2022.

© UNICEF/Delil Souleiman

A child is vaccinated in the city of Hasakeh, Syria (file)

2) Attempts to contain inflation have unintended effects on child poverty

Soaring inflation is the economic story of the year, and it’s no surprise its impact can weigh on families and children. Attempts to contain price increases can also have serious consequences, such as slowing economic growth and reducing job opportunities – especially for young people.

Government action to extend and protect social benefits, supporting those most vulnerable to the effects of economic austerity.

3) Food and nutrition insecurity will continue

Food insecurity is increasing as a result of extreme weather events, bottlenecks in critical supply chains, and conflicts like the war in Ukraine.

As prices rise, families around the world have a harder time raising their children – and that will likely continue into 2023.

Making the world’s food system more resilient is one way to mitigate this problem.

On a misty morning, the Manabovo River completely dried up, residents gathered on the riverbed to dig holes in the hope of finding a source of water.

© UNICEF/Safidy Andrianantenain

The girl who bridges the dry river (file)

4) The energy crisis causes immediate harm, but a focus on sustainability means a greener future

For billions of people, rising energy prices are driving up the cost of living dramatically, and the outlook for 2023 is uncertain.

That prospect has prompted further focus on the transition to clean and sustainable energy sources, with the potential to create new jobs for young people.

However, many of them feel unprepared for these new careers, so preparing young job seekers for training opportunities needs to be an important part of any energy program. which green.

5) Focus on climate finance, debt relief for developing countries

Developing nations face many challenges as they try to recover from the pandemic, tackle the climate crisis and deal with economic stress, but financial support for these countries has not increased. up to meet their escalating needs.

Without reforms to unlock additional development finance, resources will be thinner and urgent needs will not be met – and that is bad news for children.

A boy on a children's bicycle on the territory of temporary shelters in Lviv, Ukraine.

© UNICEF/Aleksey Filippov

Temporary shelter for Ukrainian refugees in Lviv (file)

6) Democracy is threatened, social movements are pushed back

Democracy has been increasingly threatened in recent years, and it will continue to be challenged in 2023. Political instability can lead to positive social change, but it can also leave the door open for political unrest. authoritarian leader.

By 2023, it is likely that young people will play an even more prominent role in social movements, whether for climate action, mental health, education or gender equality. Their support will be very strong and will contribute to the impetus for change.

7) Rising antagonism complicates efforts to help children

In an atmosphere of increasing sectarianism, multilateralism becomes more difficult: the number of children in need is now at its highest level since World War II, and a world of resistance is unlikely to bring positive outcomes for children.

Improved international cooperation is needed so that multilateral organizations can address the challenges children face; there are still opportunities to put stress aside, find common ground, and prioritize children’s well-being.

8) The internet becomes less open and more fragmented

Technological, commercial and political factors are fragmenting the web into isolated islands of connectivity and governance.

Children are particularly affected because they rely heavily on the internet for learning and social interaction. In 2023, we could see efforts to promote a free, inclusive, and secure web, while seizing every opportunity to create a digital future that benefits children.

Read full report here.


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