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Publication | 2022

Protect the Promise: 2022 Progress Report, Every Woman Every Child

The 2022 Global Strategy progress report provides an assessment of the situation of women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health in this third year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 1 presents abundant evidence showing that inequities persist despite great progress in reducing maternal and child mortality in the two decades leading up to the pandemic. A child’s life trajectory and rights to health, education, opportunities and safety are still largely determined by where that child is born. Data showing stagnation or drops in coverage of lifesaving interventions similarly serve as a reminder of the need to be more vigilant about bridging gaps and placing women, children and adolescents at the centre of development efforts.

It also showcases key drivers of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health and well-being. It emphasizes that women’s empowerment and adolescent participation are pivotal to achieving the 2030 Agenda yet notes that there is a long way to go in reducing gender inequality and increasing young people’s meaningful opportunities to actively engage in community and civic life. Also stressed is the importance of addressing the complex factors underpinning today’s unacceptable levels of malnutrition and developing effective strategies to reach women, children and adolescents affected by conflict, forced migration, poverty and climate change impacts.

Section 2 takes stock of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on women, children and adolescents. Although children and adolescents are less likely to experience severe health consequences from SARS-COV-2 infection compared with adults, multiple years of education, health, nutrition and social service disruptions have impacted and will continue to impact their lives.

Even as much of the world has begun to focus on other threats, it is essential to reflect on lessons learned from the pandemic and its implications for the health and well-being of this and following generations. The challenges ahead are daunting and there is a lot of ground to make up. However, it is possible to overcome many of these challenges if all stakeholders involved in delivering the 2030 Agenda recognize the urgency and play their part in accelerating progress.

Recommendations to accelerate progress to benefit all women, children and adolescents:

  • Strengthen primary health care systems to deliver interventions to all women, children and adolescents.

  • Improve multi-sectorial collaboration so that services are better integrated and reach every woman, child and adolescent.

  • Improve women’s empowerment and bolster women’s and adolescent girls’ leadership opportunities.

  • Advance and leverage private-public partnerships to improve funding and services for women, children and adolescents.

  • Secure increase financial investments by governments and their partners in women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health

  • Secure the food supply and prioritize humanitarian assistance while also building more resilient food systems