A safe and clean environment for every child
There may be no greater, growing threat facing the world’s children than climate change.
In every crisis, children are the most vulnerable. Climate change is no exception.
This mounting global crisis has the potential to undermine many of the gains we have made in child survival and development. Climate change is posing increasingly severe threats to many of the islands in the Pacific, particularly the low lying atoll islands and coastal communities.
Climate change is, at its core, an equity issue. Despite being least responsible for climate change, it is today’s children and future generations that will bear the consequences of our inaction.
What will rising temperatures mean for kids?
Climate change disproportionately affects those living in developing countries.
As extreme weather events such as cyclones and heatwaves increase in frequency and ferocity, they threaten children’s lives and destroy infrastructure critical to their well-being. These events can cause widespread destruction as well as wiping out entire crops. crops.
Most families living in developing countries depend on the environment for their livelihood. Droughts and changing global rainfall patterns are leading to crop failures and rising food prices, which for the poor mean food insecurity and nutritional deprivations that can have lifelong impacts.
Longer and more intense droughts, evaporation of existing water sources because of higher temperatures, and changes to rainfall patterns will all result in reduced access to clean and safe drinking water in developing countries.
Reduced access to clean water as a result of droughts and floods will mean families must drink from unsafe sources, risking illness from water-borne diseases.The warmer temperatures will also lead to diseases that will become more widespread, such as malaria and dengue fever.
Climate change affects communities worldwide
In 2020 Tropical Cyclone Harold tore through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga. For our Pacific neighbours, climate emergencies are all too familiar but now with the COVID-19 pandemic, our response teams are now also having to follow strict guidelines to protect the Pacific Islands from COVID-19 outbreaks.
More and more, climate change is a global problem. But right now, our neighbours in the Pacific are being hit the hardest.
Bangladesh’s flat topography, dense population and weak infrastructure make it uniquely vulnerable to the powerful and unpredictable forces that climate change is compounding.*
In places like Bogra, Bangladesh, students frequently go to school via floodwaters. With a changing climate, the flooding is only going to get worse.
*According to unicef.org
South Sudan Famine
Approximately 1.4 million children are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, including 300,000 who are projected to suffer from the severest form of malnutrition.*
For many in South Sudan, they do not know where their next meal will come from. According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report, South Sudan are facing catastrophic levels of hunger driven by insecurity, COVID-19, the economic crisis, and the impact of flooding on livelihoods.*
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UNICEF Aotearoa helps save and protect the world's most vulnerable children