Over 700 million children endangered by water shortage: UNICEF
The United Nations International Emergency Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said 739 million children globally face water shortages, putting their lives at risk.
According to a statement seen by The City Review on Tuesday, Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF, noted that the issue of climate change is catastrophic to children as their bodies are liable to heat retention.
“The consequences of climate change are devastating for children. Their bodies and minds are uniquely vulnerable to polluted air, poor nutrition and extreme heat,” Russell said.
“Not only is their world changing with water sources drying up and terrifying weather events becoming stronger and more frequent, so too is their well-being as climate change affects their mental and physical health. Children are demanding change, but their needs are far too often relegated to the sidelines,” he added.
He said young people have made pivotal appeals for their voices to be heard on climate change but have no proper role in decision-making.
“Children and young people have consistently made urgent calls for their voices to be heard on the climate crisis, but they have almost no formal role in climate policy and decision-making,” she stated.
“They are rarely considered in existing climate adaptation, mitigation or finance plans and actions. It is our collective responsibility to put every child at the centre of urgent global climate action,” she stressed.
UNICEF appealed to global leaders, the International Community, and parties to take action to protect the lives, health and well-being of children, including adapting essential social services, empowering every child to be a champion for the environment, and fulfilling international sustainability and climate change ahead of COP 2023.