Five million children live in high flood zones — UNICEF

flood-2No fewer than half a billion children who live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence zones are highly exposed to the impacts of climate change.

A report by UNICEF on Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in New York, said that others were 160 million in high drought severity zones.

The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the report was made public ahead of the 21st UN Climate Change Conference.

It is tagged “Conference of Parties’’ and scheduled in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

World leaders, expected to attend the event, will seek to reach agreement on cutting `greenhouse gas emissions’, which experts say is critical to limiting catastrophic rises in temperature.

It said, out of the 530 million children in the flood-prone zones, 300 million live in countries where more than half the population lives on less than 3 dollars a day.

The report added that out of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million children are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty.

It described climate change as more droughts, floods, heat waves and other severe weather conditions.

The events, it added, could cause death and devastation, and could also contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhea.

“A child deprived of adequate water and sanitation before a crisis will be more affected by a flood, drought, or severe storm, less likely to recover quickly.

“And at even greater risk when faced with a subsequent crisis,’’ the report said.

The report, however, said that the vast majority of the children living in areas at extremely high risk of floods are in Asia.

According to it, the majority of those in areas at risk of drought are in Africa.

The report quoted UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake as saying that “the sheer numbers underline the urgency of acting now.

“Today’s children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences.

“It is so often the case, disadvantaged communities face the gravest threat.”

“We know what has to be done to prevent the devastation climate change can inflict. Failing to act would be unconscionable.

“We owe it to our children and to the planet, to make the right decisions at

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