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Tutu backs global calls for prioritisation of children during COVID-19

The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has applauded 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi for trying to unite world leaders to help children during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Picture: tutu.org.za

JOHANNESBURG - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has on Tuesday backed global calls for children to be prioritised during the battle against COVID-19.

The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has applauded 2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi for trying to unite world leaders to help children during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Tutu, together with more than 80 other Nobel Peace Laureates and world leaders, have issued a statement calling on the world's governments to prioritise children in their responses to the coronavirus pandemic “or risk losing an entire generation.”

“COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated pre-existing inequalities in our world. The virus, restrictions placed on the majority of the world’s population, and the aftermath will have a devastating impact on the most vulnerable,” the group of global leaders said.

They fear the pandemic will exacerbate the exploitation of children, while trapped in their homes under lockdowns.

“If, for once, our world gave the most marginalised children and their families their fair share – 20% of the COVID-19 response for the poorest 20% of humanity – the results would be transformative. One trillion dollars would fund all outstanding UN and charity COVID-19 appeals, cancel two years of all debt repayments from low-income countries, and fund two years of the global gap to meet the SDGs on health, water and sanitation, and education. More than ten million lives would be saved.”

They added that the economic impact is likely to trap more boy and girls in child labour.