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Generational Impact of COVID-19 Shock Waves for Children

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

03 February 2021


Post No. 181



The Week’s Contents


• Sustainable Development Month with Good Health and Well-being

• African Children’s Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (Generation Global Goals Project): Generational Impact of COVID-19 Shock Waves

• Leafy Year and Sustainable Development

… and much more!




Key Messages


• Sustainable Development Month with Good Health and Well-being


February is our Sustainable Development month, according to CENFACS development calendar or planner.  It is the month during which we revisit our works relating to sustainable development.  In particular, we try to look at again the United Nations’ Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their related 169 targets.  We normally select one of the topics within the set of SGDs and targets; and try to work on it.

Since the coronavirus pandemic is still around and continues to take people and economies hostage, we have selected Goal 3 of the United Nations SDGs in order to tackle the month of sustainability; a selection from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda.  Within this goal, we have chosen Target 8. 

The Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

The target 8 of goal 3 is to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

How did we plan to work on the target 8 of goal 3?


• • Constituents of Target 8 of Goal 3 of the UNSDGs


Every week of this month, we will be dealing with each of the elements making target 8 as follows:


<>Week beginning 01/02/2021        

Achieve universal health coverage

<> Week beginning 08/02/2021        

Achieve financial risk protection

<> Week beginning 15/02/2021       

Access to quality essential health-care services

<> Week beginning 22/02/2021        

Access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all 

Our work will be about the above issues in the relation to COVID-19 and poverty.



• • Week beginning 01/02/2021 – In focus: Achieve Universal Health Coverage under the Constraints of COVID-19 and Poverty


In this first constituent, our attention will be on what our Africa-based Sister Organisations working on the field of sustainable health are trying to achieve with their users.

Before explaining how they are helping to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), let us define UHC.


• • • Understanding UHC


To define UHC, we have selected the following definition from the World Health Organisation (1):

“Universal health coverage is ensuring that all people have access to needed health services (including prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation) of sufficient quality to be effective while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user the financial hardship”

Generally speaking, UHC has three pillars which are: service delivery, health financing and governance.  Yet, the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and rebound have disrupted the service delivery in many places including in Africa where CENFACS’ Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) work.  Likewise, there have been some adverse effects on health financing as limited health funds have to be diverted to curtail the life-threatening and destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  Health governance is not exempted by the coronavirus turmoil as there has been a rethinking in the way health is governed in many places in Africa where CENFACS’ ASOs are engaged in the management of health coverage.


• • • How ASOs are making universal health cover


Due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, ASOs have been doing the following in ensuring that all people (particularly their beneficiaries) have access to needed health services:

√ Dealing with what is an essential health service or a non-essential one

√ Preserving equity in their work

√ Educating the community about the channels of transmission of COVID-19 and reinforcing local health authorities’ message of public health protection

√ Running sanitization campaigns against the spread of COVID-19

√ Caring for the vulnerable people and groups making part of their beneficiaries

√ Improving ways of working together in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

√ Helping poor locals to access telemedicine and online medical system where they exist


In brief, ASOs have been working with local people on find way to cover and achieve their health within the challenging contexts of the coronavirus pandemic and poverty.   

For any queries or enquiries about Sustainable Development Month and how ASOs are helping to make universal health needs cover, please contact CENFACS.




• African Children’s Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (Generation Global Goals Project): Generational Impact of COVID-19 Shock Waves


Normally, the project that carries this month of Sustainable Development is African Children’s Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (ACSDGs).  It is also known as Generation Global Goals (3G) project. 

3G project is the impact level in CENFACS’ process of advocating that global goals (like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) work for children and not way around.  It is indeed the testing of the gains that global goals claim to achieve and of their impact on the welfare and well-being of children.  This is regardless whether these children are in spaces and times of peace or lack of peace (like conditions of wars, areas stricken by virus or epidemics and time of natural disasters).   Unsurprisingly, these gains should be materialised even in time of health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.

For this year, our 3G project will focus on the Generational Impact of COVID-19 Shock Waves.  Under the Main Development section of this post, we have provided more details about this focus.





• Leafy Year and Sustainable Development


Studies show that leaves play an important role in sustainable development.  To highlight their role, this is what Wiley’s (2) online issue tells us:

“Leaves play a critical role in the Earth’s biosphere, regulating weather, renewing mineral nutrients and maintaining biotic processes to support both flora and fauna”

Indeed, leaves can help in many ways in sustainable development.  One of these ways is through recycling of fallen leaves.  Fallen leaves as mineral-rich organic material can benefit lawn and gardens.  One can recycle the nutrients from the leaves back into lawn and gardens.  For example, shredded or un-shredded leaves can be used for vegetable gardens.   

The above shows us that leaves have a role to play in sustainable development.  Recycling fallen leaves can help to reduce pressure on the environment and to contribute to the circular economy.  This also demonstrates the kind of relationships that our Leafy Year can have with Sustainable Development Month.   

To support CENFACS’ Leafy Year in a month of Sustainable Development, please contact CENFACS.




Extra Messages


• Triple Value Initiatives, All Year Round Projects: Extra Support


Last week, we announced the kick off for our Triple Value Initiatives, initially known as All Year Round Projects.  For those who are interested in engaging with these initiatives, we would like to highlight the following three points.


Triple-Value-Initiatives Start up


It is better to start up early, although people can always join at any time.  The earlier you start the better.  This is because everybody is busy with their lives and has other things to do.  Also, the earlier you start, the earlier CENFACS can help if one encounters any problems.  Briefly, the message is start up early.


Triple-Value-Initiatives Fundamentals


You need to get the fundamentals about All Year Round Projects right from the beginning.  You need to clearly sort out the principles and bases of these projects so that you move to the right direction early without being forced to change course as you progress or repeat from scratch.  Briefly, the message is get the fundamentals right.


Triple-Value-Initiatives Goals


Whether you play or run or vote for poverty reduction and sustainable development, the all exercise is for you to reach your goal of delivering the objectives you set up from the onset.  It means you need to be clear in your mind set about what you want to achieve.  Again, if you have any problems in setting up clear goals and objectives, CENFACS can be of help.  Briefly, the message is be clear about what you want to achieve.  

You can select a theme to run, create your play station game and watch people to vote.  This is what Triple Value Initiatives or All Year Round Projects are all about.  Good luck!




• Halving Poverty for and with Children in Emergency in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger


Our Halving Poverty campaign continues as well.  As we argued last week, coronavirus pandemic is the biggest health crisis of the 21st Century so far.  However, this should not let us to forget or undermine other emergencies like the one that is happening in Africa’s Central Sahel. 

Every child matters in anywhere in the world including in the Central Sahel.  It is possible while the world is dealing with the mounting pressure from the coronavirus pandemic to also save children’s lives in other places (like in Central Sahel) from the risk to lose those lives to preventable diseases or disruption in immunisation services and programmes.  It is also possible to rescue children at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse that may be caused by the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19.  This can help to avoid a great number of tragedies among children at risk in Central Sahel.

For those who would like to enquire about this campaign, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.   To support, please go to http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/.




• One Year On: Coronavirus and Poverty Reduction in Africa


It is now one year on since we launched our first thought and discussion under CENFACS’ be.Africa Forum about the coronavirus and poverty reduction in Africa.  This discussion was about whether or not the coronavirus would hamper or divert attention from the poverty reduction work in Africa.  One year after, can we argue it did or not?

Those who would like to comment on this or provide their view, they are free to do it by contacting CENFACS


L’année des feuilles de réduction de la pauvreté avec le CENFACS

Pour plus de détails concernant l’année feuillue, svp contactez le CENFACS.



Main Development


African Children’s Climate and Sustainable Development Goals (Generation Global Goals Project): Generational Impact of COVID-19 Shock Waves


Our work on generational economics and the intergenerational transmission of poverty continues with the study of the generational impact of COVID-19 shock waves on children and future generations.  We started this impact analysis last year by looking at how COVID-19 may delay the realisation of aspects of the United Nations Climate and Sustainable Development Goals for children. 

We are continuing our work where we left it by searching on the way in which COVID-19 may have impacted different generations of children.  This generational impact of COVID-19 shock waves will be on children we call as the generation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) or the generation of children thought to be the beneficiaries of the implementation of SDGs. 

Although we are using the word impact, it is clear that the real impact of COVID-19 will be known in the long term as there are still data to be collected and treated quantitatively and qualitatively.  This may take sometimes.  This is why United Nations Children’s Fund (3) argue the following:

“COVID’s legacy will take several years to definitively quantify, but it is already possible to infer some aspects that are especially salient for children” (p. 10) 

It is possible to start inferring the effects of COVID-19 and lockdown.  So far, a number of agencies and individuals have tried to do it.

In this post, we are trying to seize the early outputs or effects of COVID-19 on the realisation of SDGs linked to children’s health, well-being and welfare.  However, one needs to be cautious in interpreting what we have described below since we are carrying on in studying and learning more from COVID-19 scarring effects.  These effects are those on a generation of children.  Which generation are we talking about?


• • Children generation of global goals


The children generation of global goals are those two generations of children relating to two types of global goals: millennium development goals (MDGs) and sustainable development goals (SDGs).  The generation of millennium development goals will be those children or persons born between 2000 and 2015, whereas the generation of sustainable development goals will be referred to those born from 2015 until now (ideally between 2015 and 2030).  These generations relating to global goals have to be differentiated from the conventional definition of generations which classified them as follows: Generation Z (1995 to present), Millennials (1980 – 1994) and Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964).  


• • Generational impact of COVID-19 on children generation of SDGs


It is without doubt that COVID-19 has left and will leave some scars and fractures in the realisation of SDGs, particularly but not exclusively those aspects of these goals relating to children.  The study on the following six selected SDGs will show how COVID-19 is impacting or can impact the realisation of SDGs for children (particularly but not exclusively African children):   no poverty (goal 1), zero hunger (goal 2), good health and well-being (goal 3), quality education (goal 4), gender equality (goal 5), and clean water and sanitation (goal 6).  In this study, we have not included the climate impact as this will be a matter of another advocacy which we will deal with at a different time during this year.


• • • Possible effects of COVID-19 for children regarding the realisation of SDGs


Let us broadly consider the six selected goals out of 17 United Nations SDGs for dealing with the COVID-19 effects.


Goal 1: No poverty / End poverty in all its forms everywhere


The asymmetrical distributional effects of COVID-19 and lockdown make us to believe that there would be a challenge to end poverty in all forms in Africa for children, especially poor children by 2030.  The following statements or arguments can make one to think of this challenge.

For example, the United Nations Children’s Fund (4) argue that

“Poverty is rising, inequality is growing, and the pandemic is upending the essential services that secure the health, education, and protection of our children and young people” (p. 2)

Similarly, the United Nations Economic Commission (5) points out that

“The COVID-19 pandemic could push additional 5-29 million Africans into extreme poverty and exacerbate existing income inequalities” (p. 21).

The above push into extreme poverty in Africa does not only concern African adults.  It includes African children, especially when we know that the majority of population in Africa is young.


Goal 2: Zero hunger / End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture


There is some growing evidence that travel and transport restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic have made difficult, if not impossible, for many poor people to access food and to create food security.  This has been challenging for many families with children.  This is despite the fact that there were some humanitarian corridors to enable the flow of essential foods, drinks and medicine between African countries.  Although many African countries tried to overcome these restrictions, the problem of hunger up until now persists with African children paying the most price of it.

So, ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition have still a long way to go by 2030 and are even now a nightmare for many African children who often go to bed without food.  COVID-19 has just made is worst for them.  Sustainable agriculture has been confronted with various COVID-19 related problems in terms of travel and transport for supply and outlets.


Goal 3: Good health and well-being / Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all


The fact that the coronavirus pandemic is still rampant and has new variants is a serious challenge to the goal of good health and well-being, not only for adults but for children as well.  This test is also expressed by the lack of resilient healthcare facilities capable to respond to pandemic’s aggression.  

Additionally, not all children from poor families have been able to access protective equipment (such as sanitizers to clean their hands and their living environment).  Many of those families who are the beneficiaries of our Africa-based Sister Organisations do not have affordable healthcare access and healthcare protection or insurance.  This lack of affordable healthcare access and protection is combined with lack of healthcare facilities. 

Many children of these families live where there are no safe, functioning and accessible toilets; no toilet tissues; no wash hand facilities; no safe drinking water infrastructures, etc.  This is let alone the lack of facilities to protect against mosquitos, tropical diseases such as malaria, etc.  Although these problems were already there, the health crisis brought by COVID-19 has made them worse, including the achievement of universal health coverage.


Goal 4: Quality education / Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all


The COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns have re-exposed the digital divide and the difference in accessing online learning opportunities between children from poor families and those from rich ones.  The COVID-19 and related lockdowns have highlighted the poor studying conditions of children from poor families who continue to work in poorer home studying settings (such as lack of space to study, lack of electricity at home, lack of table and study equipment) and cannot access digital learning tools.

To realise the dream of quality education for poor children will be delayed or at worst not becoming a reality as COVID-19 and the lockdowns have just shown us.


Goal 5: Gender equality / Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


The uneven distributional effects of COVID-19 and lockdowns may have reinforced gender inequality.  In some places in Africa, women have borne the greatest burden of increased domestic and care responsibilities. 

Many studies show that the informal employs more women than men in Africa.  Since many of those women have lost their informal jobs in Africa, this could have a differentiated impact on them and children, especially in households run by women and have only or more girls than boys.

So, the dis-equalising effect of COVID-19 and lockdowns may have left some gender fractures or scars.  This is despite some of CENFACS’ Africa-based Sister Organisations are working to address this COVID-19 engendered inequality.


Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation / Ensure access to water and sanitation for all


By definition, the COVID-19 is a health crisis, a crisis featured by many things such as the lack of sanitation and related elements surrounding sanitation like clean water and environmental health.  Before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, sanitation was still a problem for many places in Africa.

For example, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation (6) claim the following:

“An estimated 367 million children attend a school in which there is no sanitation facility at all.  Over half of these children live in two SDG regions: sub-Saharan Africa (213 million children) and central and southern Asia (200 million children)” (p. 43)

Where many of CENFACS’ Africa-based Sister Organisations work, many families suffer from the lack of access to safe drinking water and a lack of safe control of physical factors that could harm these families’ health and safety (such as safe toilet and water facilities).  CENFACS worked with some of them in water collection project in Mali and schools to build basic sanitation facilities in Togo.  However, the coronavirus pandemic disruption may have reversed the hard work done on this particular area of health and safety for children.

In all, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic’s wake, poverty reduction is still happening in Africa and for African children like some of the examples given above show. 

CENFACS’ Africa-based Sister Organisations are continuing to work with poor families and their children so that they can relieve themselves from the brunt of the pandemic’s lasting scarring impacts or effects. 

The work they are doing with them can make us to believe and hope that these families and their children, the generation of global goals, can navigate their way out of coronavirus-induced poverty and hardships.

For those who would like to hear more about the stories of poverty reduction happening in Africa from CENFACS’ ASOs working with children, please do not hesitate to contact CENFACS.



Reference List


(1) https://www.who.int/healthsystems/universal_health_coverage/en/

(2) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/sres.2487

(3) https://unicef.org/globalinsight/media/1516/file/UNICEF-Global-Insight-5year-Outlook-2021pdf

(4) United Nations Children’s Fund (2020), UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children 2021 Overview

(5) United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (2020), Economic Report on Africa 2020: Innovative Finance for Private Sector Development in Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

(6) United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organisation (2020): State of the World’s Sanitation: An urgent call to transform sanitation for better health, environments, economies and societies, New York



Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going this year.

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service. 

One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the future.

Donate to support CENFACS!


FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2021 and beyond.

With many thanks.


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