Development Diaries understands that millions of children are now more vulnerable to violence, abuse and neglect due to the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic.
There are 1.8 billion children in the 104 countries where violence prevention and response services have been disrupted due to Covid-19, according to UNICEF.
Due to the pandemic, parents and caregivers are losing jobs, and families are under increasing financial strain.
UNICEF said in a statement that Primero X, an open source case management web application, was designed to help social service providers coordinate critical support to vulnerable children.
The UN agency said in the statement that key interventions include providing access to lifesaving services, such as family reunification and tracing, while still adhering to physical distancing and movement restrictions due to Covid-19.
‘Social workers offer a lifeline to vulnerable children, especially during times of crisis and upheaval’, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Charlotte Petri Gornitzka said.
‘Covid-19 is undermining the ability of these essential workers to do their jobs at the same time as needs are increasing.
‘The partnership between UNICEF and Microsoft will help strengthen the Primero platform and scale it up to benefit millions of children and young people, both now and in the future’.
As for the Microsoft Global Head of Tech for Social Impact, Justin Spelhaug, he said, ‘We firmly believe technology can be a force for good in these challenging times, and our partnership with UNICEF to support vulnerable children and women is even more critical during Covid-19’.
‘Primero is improving the quality and consistency of care for social workers so they can focus on those who need it most’.
It is understood that Primero X provides social service organisations with programme expertise and operational support from a diverse global community of experienced child protection and gender-based violence specialists.
It also protects client confidentiality and is aligned with responsible data for children, ensuring children’s privacy when accessing services facilitated by the system.
‘New features of Primero X will help social service providers reach children with vital protection and support as communities around the world continue to grapple with the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic’, the statement added.
Photo source: UNICEF