The United Nations Children’s Fund has ranked Nigeria and Chad as the second worst countries where children are most at risk from climate change.
UNICEF is using data to generate new global evidence of how many children are currently exposed to climate and environmental threats, shocks and stresses in a report titled “Children’s Climate Risk Index”.
It found that one billion children around the world are at risk.
The CCRI helps to understand and measure the likelihood of climate and environmental shocks or pressures that lead to an erosion of development progress, an exacerbation of deprivation and / or humanitarian situations that affect children or vulnerable households and groups.
Of the 163 countries on the list, the first 13 were from Africa. Arranged from worst to safest, the top 10 in the order were Central African Republic (1), Chad and Nigeria (2), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia (4), Niger, South Sudan (7), DR Congo (9), Angola, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mozambique (10).
The foreword to the report signed by Adriana Calderón, Mexico; Farzana Jhumu, Bangladesh; Eric Njuguna, Kenya and; Greta Thunberg, Sweden, said: “The Children’s Climate Risk Index ranks countries according to how vulnerable children are to environmental pollution and extreme weather events.
“It turns out that children in the Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau are most at risk.
“And yet these countries are among the least responsible for the problem, because the 33 extremely high risk countries together emit only nine percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
“In contrast, the 10 countries with the highest emissions together account for almost 70 percent of global emissions. Only one of these countries is classified as extremely risky in the index. We cannot allow this injustice to continue.
“It is immoral that the countries that have done the least should suffer first and worst. Governments and companies urgently need to work to address the root causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. ”
In response to the report, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said: “It is already clear that children are more vulnerable to climate and environmental shocks than adults.
“However, this report examines, for the first time, exactly how many children live in areas exposed to multiple, overlapping climate and environmental risks that trigger, amplify and magnify each other, combined with data on the availability and quality of essential services such as health care, Education and water and sanitation to give a real insight into the impact of the climate crisis on children. ”
She added that every segment of society, including governments and businesses, must act to tackle the climate crisis.
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