Cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes, torrential rains, droughts, floods ... The meteorological phenomena that occur around the world affect thousands of people who suffer the devastating effects of the force of nature. However, of all of them, children are the most disadvantaged.
The United Nations World Organization and UNICEF warn about the severe effects of weather changes on children.
From the unusual heat waves in the northern hemisphere to the floods in India, through tornadoes in Japan and fires in the United States, of all the victims, the WHO and UNICEF warn about the effects that climate changes are having about children.
"In any crisis, children are the most vulnerable, and the extreme weather events we are seeing around the world are no exception," said Ted Chaiban, director of programs at the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Chaiban has warned about the consequences that these extreme phenomena that, far from being controlled seem to be increasing, have on future generations, since with them humanitarian crises increase.
Climate change has caused thousands of deaths, incalculable crop losses, damage to nature that will take generations to recover, and life-long injuries to thousands of people. And, in this bleak panorama, one image worries over others and it is the danger that millions of children are in now and as a consequence of these phenomena, including:
- Heat waves and global warming have caused the temperature to rise alarmingly. As adults, we adapt better to these changes, however children have a worse prognosis. In less favored areas with fewer resources to combat the heat Babies are more likely to die of heat stroke. Dehydration is another problem derived from heat as it increases the need to consume drinking water that, in many places, is not available.
- In some areas the drought is extreme, crops are dying, livestock cannot survive and there is a shortage of water, all of this compromises the feeding of many children, especially those from poorer families.
- Floods not only cause life-long deaths or injuries to children, but the consequences of torrential rains compromise the potable water supply. Drinking water in poor condition increases the chaos of diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition and other diseases.
What can be done to stop this situation and protect children from climate change? The UN and UNICEF demand the help of governments. "It is vital that governments and the international community take concrete steps to safeguard the future of children and their rights," says Chaiban.
Meanwhile, these agencies work to strengthen the education and health systems in the most deprived areas and thus prepare them to face these meteorological changes. They also have programs to help displaced children after the passage of one of these natural phenomena.
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