child shows their family’s one month supply of hygiene
essentials (i.e. soap and alcohol) distributed by Save the
Children Philippines on April 3, 2020 in Navotas.
Lei Tapang/Save the Children)
Save the Children
launches its biggest ever appeal to protect children from COVID-19
April 7, 2020
MANILA – Save the
Children has launched a global appeal to raise US$100 Million to
manage the spread of COVID-19 and support survival through food
security among the most vulnerable families across 120 countries,
including the Philippines.
The biggest appeal since
the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu pandemic, Save the Children believes that
“early action is critical because a delay will cost lives, and rob
children of opportunities.”
Tagged as #ProtectAGeneration,
the appeal coincides with the World Health Day celebration on April
7, where the roles of nurses and midwives are recognized to keep the
world healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief
Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines says that the
COVID-19 pandemic spares no one – both rich and poor, young and old,
but those who have the least in life, and not able to cope will be
hit first and hardest, including the vulnerable and deprived
children and their families.
“Children suffer the
consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Atty. Muyot. The rising
deaths of adults leave children without parents, and guardians,
while the loss of income for families is causing widespread hunger
The 100-years of Save the
Children’s expertise in providing a humanitarian response to a
pandemic dates back to the Spanish flu in 1918.
“We need to go back and
remember at how we started as a humanitarian organization,” said
Muyot. “We need to be where we are most needed by children and their
In the Philippines, the
funds will be used to support the most vulnerable children and their
families with hygiene essentials to ward off diseases, cash
assistance to help them recover from the unintended impact of the
enhanced community quarantine, and educate families about the
importance of physical distancing, proper hygiene and other
behaviors needed to prevent and reduce transmission of the deadly
Over half a million
community health workers are currently providing support in 44
countries, including the Philippines. Save the Children Philippines
support community health workers who attend to the health and
nutrition needs of the most deprived children and families in
Southern Mindanao, communities in Samar province, and in the cities
of Navotas, Caloocan, and Malabon in Metro Manila.
Atty. Muyot also said the
funds will support education personnel and government health
agencies to equip local health workers with the required personal
protective equipment and medical supplies, training, and mental
health and psychosocial support.
He also raised concern
that more children now experience hunger, poor health, and
malnutrition as thousands of families face a loss of income,
including those in the informal sector due to limited mobility
during Enhanced Community Quarantine. “School closures also pose
risks on children who will be forced to work to earn a living for
their families while adolescent girls may end up in early marriage,”
said Atty. Muyot.
Dr. Amado Parawan, Health
and Nutrition Advisor of Save the Children Philippines said the loss
of jobs and stable income of parents, guardians during quarantine is
expected to increase the cases of malnutrition in the country.
He said families must
ensure they have at least five (5) servings of fruits and vegetables
every day, and drink 8-10 glasses of water to boost their immune
system. Parents and guardians were also advised to serve healthy
meals to children instead of junk foods.
Prior to COVID-19
pandemic, the country’s child malnutrition rate is one of the
highest in the world, with one in three children under 5 years of
age is stunted due to prolonged hunger resulting in chronic
At the same time, at least
48.2 per cent of babies six to 11 months have anemia due to poor
feeding practices and inadequate food, according to the 2018
Expanded National Nutrition Survey by the Department of Science and
Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).
“The loss of income to
thousands of families immediately translates into not being able to
put food on the table,” said Dr. Parawan.
He said vulnerable
families need financial support to afford nutritious diets –
particularly for pregnant and lactating mothers and children up to
the age of two.
Save the Children’s #ProtectAGeneration
global appeal aims to provide financial support to families in
crisis through cash and voucher assistance in over 30 countries
around the world.
Atty. Muyot said the funds
will also support distance learning and interactive learning
activities for millions of children missing out on school due to the
“We will provide guidance
and resources to help parents and caregivers to support children’s
learning,” he said, adding that “the key to our support will be how
to maintain structure and routine, and how to keep children engaged
in play and learning activities at home.”
Save the Children
Philippines has developed mobile apps like i-Mulat that is
downloadable in the Google Play Store, to give parents a wealth of
suggested family learning activities for children 0 to 6 years old
that they can do at home.
The i-Mulat app contains
key messages and videos on how parents can support their children to
achieve their developmental milestones. Parents can also log the
activities they do with their children as well as observations on
their child’s development in the app.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a
crisis that goes beyond health systems, said Atty. Muyot.
“Economic recession and
the socio-economic disruption accompanying lockdowns have already
inflicted immense human suffering even in high-income countries with
strong safety nets. The risks now facing vulnerable populations in
poorer countries with high levels of poverty and weak safety nets
are even more serious and much greater,” he said
Atty. Muyot is appealing
to individuals and businesses to support #ProtectAGeneration through
donations on https://donate.savethechildren.org.ph/campaign/covid-19#donatearea
or by calling: Candice dela Cruz at 0929-754-3066 or