While all children are impacted by climate change, those living in poverty, conflict or hunger, or in disaster prone areas, will suffer most as they often are already deprived of their basic needs. Children in countries deemed at a “lower-risk” are facing threats as well, for example from forest fires, flooding, droughts and other erratic weather events.
Analysis by Save the Children also shows that:
- 70 percent of countries facing a high risk of climate impact are in Africa;
- Climate change impacts are worsening the already dire situation in Yemen, where conflict has created severe food shortages, leaving millions of children at risk of hunger;
- Children in Bangladesh are highly exposed to flooding, cyclones, and sea levels rise;
- Malaria and dengue fever already plague children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Increasing extreme weather events can lead to new health risks while the health system is already limited.
If drastic action is not taken, the impact of the climate crisis will likely hit millions more children in decades to come, the organisation warned. Increasing climate shocks often make it a struggle for families to recover between each shock, especially in countries that lack social safety nets, pushing them further into poverty or forcing them to flee their homes.