UNICEF says concerned about impacts of climate change on children in South Africa

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FILE PHOTO: A general view of a fire ravaging the slopes of Table Mountain and Signal Hill in gale force winds in Cape Town, South Africa. /Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: A general view of a fire ravaging the slopes of Table Mountain and Signal Hill in gale force winds in Cape Town, South Africa. /Getty Images

The United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, on Friday said climate change is likely to deepen the vulnerability of children in South Africa, following a report showing children and young people in the nation are among those “most at risk” of the impacts of climate change.

UNICEF South Africa Representative Christine Muhigana, in a press release, called on related players to invest in services children need, such as water, healthcare and education, to help protect their futures from a “changing climate” and a “degrading environment.”

The UN official also urged an “urgent and collective” response centered on children and young people to prevent the impact of climate change from “becoming even worse.”

UNICEF South Africa called for the inclusion of children and young people in all climate-related decision-making at national, regional, and global levels, and supporting children’s adaption to and preparation for the effects of climate change with climate education, green skills and climate-related livelihood opportunities.

It also appealed for increased investment in climate adaptation and resilience in key services for children, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a “just and equitable” transition toward an environmentally sustainable and inclusive economy.

A UNICEF authored report, The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis, presents the Children’s Climate Risk Index, which uses data to generate new global evidence on how many children are currently exposed to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses.

The report, which was launched on Friday, ranked South Africa as the 72nd among nations in terms of risk, with water scarcity, soil and water pollution having a particular impact on children affected by poverty and poor nutrition. Enditem

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