UNICEF says Somali children at high risk due to impacts of climate change

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MOGADISHU, April 7, 2020 (Xinhua) -- A woman helps her child to wash her hands as a preventive measure against coronavirus, at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Mogadishu, capital of Somali, April 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Hassan Bashi)
MOGADISHU, April 7, 2020 (Xinhua) -- A woman helps her child to wash her hands as a preventive measure against coronavirus, at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Mogadishu, capital of Somali, April 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Hassan Bashi)

Children in Somalia are at “extremely high risk” of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education, and protection, the United Nations children’s fund (UNICEF) said in a report released on Friday.

The report finds Somali children are highly exposed to soil and water pollution and riverine flooding, saying that investments in social services, particularly child health and nutrition, as well as water, hygiene and sanitation, can make a significant difference in the ability to safeguard their futures from the impacts of climate change.

The report, Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index, places Somalia among the 33 countries classified as “extremely high-risk,” ranking it the fourth most vulnerable.

“The climate crisis is a child’s rights crisis. Building communities’ resilience is pivotal in protecting Somali children and their future from the impacts of a changing climate and degrading environment,” UNICEF Somalia Representative Mohamed Ayoya said.

He said the frightening environmental changes being seen across the planet are being driven by a few but experienced by many.

“We must urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work as a global community to build a better world for all children,” Ayoya said.

UNICEF warned that children will continue to suffer the most without the urgent action required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Enditem

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