The Global Reference Group for Children Affected by Crisis

Project outline


Professor Lucie Cluver works with The Global Reference Group for Children Affected by Crisis, hosted by and linked to the World Health Organisation to develop up to date evidence of numbers of children affected by COVID-19 associated orphanhood, and to support policy and programming that can mitigate the impacts of COVID on children and adolescents. Members include Dr Susan Hillis (Coordinator), Dr Seth Flaxman (Oxford University), Dr Juliette Unwin (Imperial College London), Prof Christl Donnelly (Oxford University/Imperial College London), Dr Oliver Ratmann (Imperial College London), Dr Samir Bhatt (University of Copenhagen, Imperial College London), Dr Chris Desmond (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal), Dr Alexander Butchart (World Health Organization), Gretchen Bachman (U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)), Dr Andrés Villaveces (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)), Prof Lorraine Sherr (University College London), Prof Charles Nelson III (Harvard University Medical School), Dr Laura Rawlings (World Bank), Dr Philip Goldman (Maestral International) and Phil Green (World Without Orphans)


•    U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
•    U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
•    World Health Organization (WHO)
•    The World Bank
•    University College London
•    Imperial College London
•    University of Cape Town


Hidden Pandemic Report (February 2022)

Hidden Pandemic Report (2nd Edition 2022)

Global Estimates of COVID-19 Related Orphanhood_The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health

COVID-19 associated orphanhood in South Africa

COVID-19 associated orphanhood in Kenya

COVID-19-Associated Orphanhood in Eswatini

COVID-19-Associated Orphanhood in Zambia

COVID-19-Associated Orphanhood in Malawi

Hope for Children Affected by the War in Ukraine

COVID-19-associated orphanhood in South Africa 2nd Edition


Ntwali N’konzi J-P, Msemburi W, Villaveces A, Cluver L, Flaxman S, Unwin HJ.  Orphanhood and Caregiver Loss among Children Based on New Global Excess COVID-19 Death Estimates. JAMA Pediatrics. Sept 6,2022.   


Unwin HJ,*Hillis S,* Cluver L,Flaxman S, et al. Global, Regional, and National Minimum Estimates of Children Affected by COVID-19 and Caregiver Death, by Age and Family Circumstance, up to Oct 31, 2021: An Updated Modeling Study.  


Hillis S, Blenkinsop A, Flaxman S, Ratmann O, Villaveces A, Cluver L, Annor F, DeMissie Z, Liburd L, Massetti G, Mercy J, Unwin J.  COVID-19-associated Orphanhood and Caregiver Death in the United States, Pediatrics, October 7, 2021.


Hillis S, Unwin J, Chen Y, Sherr L, Goldman P, Flaxman S, Ratmann O, Donnelly C, Bhatt S, Villaveces A, Cluver L, Green P, Nelson C.  et al. Global Minimum Estimates of Children Affected by COVID-19-associated Orphanhood and Death of Caregivers, The Lancet July 20, 2021.