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Wednesday, 23 September 2020


Unicef launches first ever domestic emergency response programme

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UNICEF UK has this week launched its first-ever domestic emergency response programme to support children in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Food Power for Generation COVID’, a grant-funded programme, is launching today in partnership with the food and farming charity Sustain. The joint initiative will ensure that the most vulnerable children and their families have access to food during the coronavirus crisis by providing grants to community food projects until February 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic is the most urgent crisis affecting children since the Second World War, upending children’s lives around the world and in the UK. Of the 2.4 million children across the UK already growing up in food-insecure households, over 1/5 of households with children have gone hungry during the lockdown as the pandemic has taken its toll on family finances and access to sources of emergency food is under pressure from loss of donations and volunteers.

Building upon its existing UK programmes – which already operate in all four nations reaching more than 2.5 million children each year – and expertise on issues affecting UK children, the charity has in response established a new partnership with Sustain’s food Power programme, ‘Food Power’ was launched three years ago to support place-based alliances across the UK to tackle local issues relating to food access and food affordability.

Working through the local Food Power alliances, ‘Food Power for Generation COVID’ will award grants to community food projects that reach the children and families most in need.

Anna Kettley, Director of Programmes at Unicef UK, said:

“The coronavirus crisis is having an unprecedented impact on children’s lives – their support systems ripped apart, their education lost, their access to food impacted.

“Food Power for Generation COVID will see us partnering with local organisations across the UK for the first time in our history for a one-off emergency response, and we are delighted to be working with Food Power given their expertise and access to the people who need our support the most.

“Through these grants, we hope to reach the UK’s most vulnerable children and their families and ensure they receive the vital food support they need to eat well. Our goal is to ensure that children survive the coronavirus crisis – and thrive beyond it.”

Photograph credit: UNICEF/SAP

Simon Shaw, Head of Food Poverty Programme at Sustain, said:

“All over the UK local food poverty alliances and food partnerships have been taking action to ensure local people have access to nutritious food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This partnership with Unicef UK and support from Soccer Aid for Unicef comes at a crucial point. Local alliances are well-placed to support their communities during the next few months and to reach those who have been hardest hit.”

Funding for ‘Food Power for Generation COVID’ is coming from funds previously raised from Soccer Aid for Unicef. The first round of grants will be awarded in the week commencing 17 August 2020 and the initiative will run until the end of February 2021.

For more information about Food Power visit https://www.sustainweb.org/foodpower/

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