690m Kids at Risk From Climate Change

690m Kids at Risk From Climate Change690m Kids at Risk From Climate Change

Nearly 690 million of the world’s 2.3 billion children live in areas most exposed to climate change, facing higher rates of death, poverty and disease from global warming, the UN children’s agency said Tuesday.

Almost 530 million children live in countries hardest-hit by high floods and tropical storms, mostly in Asia. An additional 160 million kids are growing up in areas suffering severe droughts, mostly in Africa, UNICEF said in the report titled “Unless We Act Now” which has called the sheer number of children exposed to climate risk “alarming.”

More than 145 world leaders are meeting in Paris next week for an international conference aimed at clinching the first agreement on tackling global warming in 20 years.

A key concern is exposure to diseases that could become deadlier as a result of climate change and rising temperatures, including malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition.

Heatwaves, which have become more frequent, are causing more severe rashes, cramps, exhaustion and dehydration, a common cause of hyperthermia and death among infants and young children.

The impact of droughts on agriculture is leading to malnutrition and undernutrition, which is responsible for half of worldwide deaths of children under five.

Coastal areas in South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are among the most vulnerable along with Pacific islands, the Horn of Africa and equatorial Africa.

“Today’s children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences,” said UNICEF director Anthony Lake.