As a result of the quarantine arranged to prevent the spread of COVID-19,
59% of the country’s households receive less income and 28% reduced the purchase of food for this reason
. This situation is exacerbated in towns and settlements,
where nutritional deprivations affect five out of 10 families
. However, beyond the unpredictable economic and social context,
96% of Argentines approve of isolation as a measure in the face of the pandemic
The data follows from
a survey that Unicef Argentina gave him today
President Alberto Fernández and they come to reinforce what has been felt in the territory in recent weeks:
the way in which this situation mainly hits the most vulnerable sectors.
This was emphasized by the UNICEF representative in the country, Luisa Brumana, who warned about the side effects of the pandemic on boys and girls living in the poorest households, whom she considers the
“hidden victims of the coronavirus”.
The loss of income of their families, food insecurity, the lack of access to the Internet and computers to continue with distance education, are just some of the factors that influence their daily lives.
The “Survey of Perception and Attitudes of the Population. Impact of the pandemic and the measures adopted by the government on the daily life of girls, boys and adolescents” was carried out between April 8 and 15 last.
The study investigates how the population is experiencing quarantine:
prevention measures, symptoms, household income, access to social transfers, food, the situation of women, education, sources of information and the gaze of adolescents. 2678 households across the country with children and adolescents were surveyed.
Sebastián Waisgrais, specialist in Social Inclusion and Monitoring of Unicef, emphasized that the sample is “robust and representative at national and regional level” and that it puts on the table
the strong belief in the need for quarantine, but also its
strong social impact, mainly in terms of labor income and job losses
The 59% of the households that affirmed that their labor income was reduced during the isolation, is equivalent to 3,600,000 houses in which 15,000,000 people live. This percentage rises to 62% in the province of Buenos Aires, 70% in those who receive the Universal Child Allowance (AUH) and 75% of large families.
According to this survey, the average job loss in the country is 7% and reaches 10% in the provinces of northwestern Argentina. ”
On the other hand, in a context of strong economic difficulties, the social protection system, for now, is coming and very well
. 35% of households, representing 26,000,000 people, are receiving some type of aid and it is well targeting the lowest income sectors. Within the poorest 25%, 65% of the people, some 9,400,000, are receiving some type of transfer, “Waisgrais explained.
In this sense, other data to take into account are that 84% of households stated “they had no problem accessing benefits”, 21.8% of surveyed adults received the “emergency income”, 27 , 8% the bonus for the AUH and 19% the Food Card and other food supports.
For the UNICEF specialist,
One of the most worrisome results of the survey is that of food: “28% of households had to stop buying food and that is increasing.
In groups with female headship it climbs to 31% and, in large homes or in villas, it reaches 45% “, Waisgrais elaborated.
Despite the socio-economic impacts,
83% of households in the country consider that, if there were no quarantine, there would be a high risk of contracting the disease.
According to the survey, the approval levels of social isolation implemented by the Government are unanimous,
even among the population aged 13 to 17, which supports the measure by 99%.
On the other hand, more than 90% of the population claimed to take the correct preventive measures such as frequent hand washing and surface disinfection. However, it exposed a big problem:
11% of families living in towns or settlements do not have protection supplies
, sufficient cleaning and disinfection, mainly bleach, gel or common alcohol, chinstraps and soap.
From family violence to fear of getting sick
Another of the consultation topics was how this unprecedented context impacts women.
2.4% declared feeling verbally abused or mistreated, representing 142,000 homes
. In addition, in approximately 7,800 households women suffered physical violence. In 72% of cases, it was by couples and, in the remaining 28%, by sons or daughters.
In 86% of the cases no action was taken: 14% made the police report, in a care center or to a direct family member.
Regarding education, in 81.2% of households girls and boys have school activities or tasks, which 68% do with their mothers. “Inside the home, the burden that is falling on women is enormous. Men, in general, participate in shopping, but the rest of the activities fall on them. There is an overload,” Waisgrais said. Although a good part of the educational offer circulates on multimedia platforms,
18% of adolescents stated that they did not have access to the internet and 37% did not have a tablet, notebook or PC
. Among those who do have a connection, 76% consider that they spend more time in front of the screens compared to the previous period of isolation.
From 13 to 17 years old, there is fear of getting sick: 44% think that they or their families are going to get COVID-19 and
48% said they were depressed, anxious or scared by the pandemic
. This is, for Waisgrais, a central fact: “In the day after it is going to require a strong public intervention to work the post-pandemic,” he concluded.