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Floods displace 19 million children in past three months

Floods displace 19 million children in past three months

The latest report by Save The Children and the Free University of Brussels, titled “Generation Hope: 2.4 billion reasons to end the global climate and inequality crisis,” found that 774 million children face a triple threat from high climate risk, poverty and conflict.

Floods displace 19 million children

The lives of no less than 19 million children have been thrown off course in Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Chad, and South Sudan, as extreme floods rage globally between August and October this year

Save the Children International, SCI, is calling on governments at COP27 to support the creation of a new loss and damage climate finance mechanism to help address the cost of the impacts of the climate crisis on children’s rights, including supporting communities already hit by climate impacts.

A new study by the organization Save The Children reveals that a third of the child population worldwide is affected by the climate crisis and poverty, especially in unequal countries.

Children in Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Chad and South Sudan witnessed the world’s most extensive floods between August and October this year. Flooding in these five countries affected a total of 38.7 million people, according to The International Disasters Database, with thousands killed and millions displaced.

Water flowing above dangerous levels left a trail of destruction in every country, with houses submerged, crops destroyed and schools forced to close, jeopardizing the education of thousands of children.

Triggered unprecedented

Torrential monsoon rains, accelerated by melting glaciers, triggered unprecedented flash floods in Pakistan this summer, severely affecting an estimated 16 million children, the largest number of children affected by floods in a single country this year.

The floods disproportionately hit the most vulnerable households in the poorest areas of Pakistan, washing away livestock and millions of acres of farmland and submerging entire villages. As a direct result of the flooding, between 8.4 and 9.1 million people could be pushed into poverty, according to official government estimates.

Climate change, poverty and conflict mean children are less able to protect themselves and recover from natural events, as well as more vulnerable to the current global crisis of food, nutrition and the high cost of living.

This situation is related to social inequalities and discrimination based on factors such as race, disability, migratory status or displacement, sexual orientation and gender identity. In the study, they found that indigenous communities were especially marginalized, while people who profit from industries that harm the environment have more power to influence public policy.

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“The climate change emergency and the problems of inequality are strongly interconnected and we cannot tackle them in isolation. In all countries, inequalities aggravate the emergency situation and its impacts on boys and girls”, they say in the report.

Countries most affected by flood

  • The five countries most affected by the floods according to available data on acute food insecurity suffer from high levels of food insecurity, with at least 10% of the population experiencing critical levels of hunger or worse: Pakistan (26%), Nigeria (12 %), Chad (14%), South Sudan (54%) — CIF data is not available for India.
  • In Pakistan, Save the Children is providing emergency aid to families, including food, emergency shelter and medical assistance. The agency is running two medical camps in the flood-affected district of Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, where it provides vital medical care to children suffering from flood-related illnesses. As of October 31, it has reached almost 99,000 people, including almost 53,000 children.
  • In Nigeria, Save the Children provides children and families affected by floods with vital food, clean water, cash assistance, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, child protection services and emergency shelter kits. The team is supporting 36,000 children and 18,000 families in the worst affected areas of six states (Jigawa, Benue, Borno, Yobe, Kogi and Oyo).
  • In South Sudan, Save the Children provides food, cash assistance, hygiene and shelter kits, education, water and sanitation to children and families affected by flooding.
  • In India, Save the Children’s emergency response to the floods included food, shelter, hygiene kits, education kits, creating child-friendly spaces, training at childcare institutes and cash assistance.

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