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UN: Kids in 4 South Asia nations most at risk of climate impact


DHAKA - Young people living in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are among those most at risk of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education, and protection, according to a new UNICEF report received here Friday.

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In addition, Nepal and Sri Lanka are among the top 65 countries most impacted globally.

"The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children's Climate Risk Index" is UNICEF's first child-focused climate risk index.

It ranks countries based on children's exposure to climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks, based on their access to essential services.

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India are among four South Asian countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis, with a ranking of 14, 15, 15 and 26 respectively. While Nepal is ranked 51, Sri Lanka is at 61st place. Bhutan is ranked 111, with children at relatively lower risk.

"For the first time, we have clear evidence of the impact of climate change on millions of children in South Asia. Droughts, floods, air pollution and river erosion across the region have left millions of children homeless and hungry, and without any healthcare and water," said George Laryea-Adjei, UNICEF regional director for South Asia.

"Together, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have created an alarming crisis for South Asian children. The time to act is now - if we invest in water, healthcare and education, we can protect their futures from the impacts of a changing climate and degrading environment."

The report found that these South Asian children are in constant danger from riverine floods and air pollution, yet investments in child health, nutrition, and education can make a significant difference to protect children from climate change.

South Asia is home to over 600 million children and has the highest number of young people globally.  

Published : August 22, 2021

By : China Daily / ANN