Over 700 million children worldwide face climate change risks

The report points out that climate-related issues were aggravated by ongoing humanitarian crises

Millions of children and entire future generations living in countries hit by climate changes will be badly affected if immediate action to curb climate changes is not taken, the London-based aid organization, Save the Children, has warned ahead of the 22 April online Leaders Summit on climate change due to be chaired by US President, Joe Biden.

Unveiling a report on this issue, the organization has identified that over 710 million children under 18 live in 45 countries hit by climate change and that as many as 70% of these countries are in Africa.

Floods, droughts, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events coupled with the direct and side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will have an especially deep impact on vulnerable children and their families, pushing them further into poverty and hunger because of food insecurity, water scarcity, and health threats, especially infectious diseases, the report read.

Children are on the frontline of the climate crisis. We respond every day to emergencies caused by extreme weather events like droughts, floods, and storms – and we see how they impact child malnutrition, poverty, and outbreaks of disease. The world’s response to climate change will decide the prospects not just of millions of children now, but of future generations too,” said Kevin Watkin, CEO of Save the Children UK.

To address the issue, Save the Children has suggested a set of recommendations for policymakers. First of all, governments should recognize that the climate crisis is also a child rights crisis as it affects them the most. Secondly, climate change mitigation finance should be increased, particularly in underdeveloped countries. Thirdly, social protection systems must be enhanced to become shock-responsive and address the increasing impacts of climate change on children and their families.

Furthermore, the upcoming Youth Summit in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow should place particular emphasis on children as equal stakeholders in addressing climate change and include their recommendations in all climate-related policies.

Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children International, urged governments “to set up child-friendly mechanisms and platforms on- and off-line to include children’s recommendations in climate policies, including the most vulnerable children.Children have contributed the least to the crisis we are facing but will pay the highest price,” she added.

Source: By Joanna Kedzierska - Developmentaid

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