In the past decade, 7,300 major climate-related emergencies have affected the lives of more than 4 billion children. Catastrophic flooding from extreme weather poses a very high risk to the world's children as a result of the growing severity of cyclones, hurricanes, storms and rising sea levels. In 2020:
- Seasonal flooding in South Sudan upended the lives of more than 600,000 people, particularly in Jonglei state, where families were already displaced by intercommunal violence across the region
- Weeks of torrential monsoon rains caused widespread flooding and deadly landslides in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, leaving over 4 million children in need of lifesaving assistance
- Torrential rains and catastrophic flooding caused by back-to-back Hurricanes Eta and Iota impacted the lives of 4.6 million people in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, among them around 1.8 million children
- Seven consecutive tropical storms and cyclones hit central Vietnam in little over a month, causing a cascade of floods and landslides that left 2.5 million children at risk of disease, poor nutrition and delayed development
The effects of a warming planet hit children first and worst
"A child born today will face challenges that the children of 20 years ago did not face," said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. "Climate change is threatening their futures as it threatens our planet. Fires, floods, air pollution, heat stress, destroyed crops, water and food insecurity. The effects of a warming planet hit children first and worst."
When emergencies hit, UNICEF teams up with partners to ensure the rapid delivery of supplies and services that children and families need to survive the devastating effects of climate-related disasters. UNICEF sets up Child-Friendly Spaces where children can go to learn, play and heal from trauma, provides health and nutrition services and works with communities to build back better, improving their water systems, schools and health care facilities.