Children in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India are among those most at risk of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education, and protection, according to a new Unicef report launched on Friday, reports UNB.
Bangladesh ranked second among South Asian countries and 15th globally in Unicef’s index “The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index.”
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 global rankings of 14, 15, 15, and 26.
Nepal is ranked 51st, Sri Lanka is at 61st place. Bhutan is ranked 111, with children at relatively lower risk.
South Asian countries are among the most vulnerable globally to the impacts of climate change. Extreme climate-related events – heat waves, storms, floods, fires and droughts – affect more than half of the region’s population every year and continue to burden their economies.
Worse, before they can recover from one disaster, another one strikes, reversing any progress made. Also, rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns have put the futures of millions of children living in climate-vulnerable areas in South Asia at constant risk. Around 1 billion children live in one of the 33 countries classified as “extremely high-risk,” including the four South Asian countries.
“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.