ISLAMABAD: Young people living in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India are among the most at the risk of the impact of climate change which is threatening their health, education and protection, according to a Unicef report launched on Friday.

‘The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index’ is Unicef’s first child-focused climate risk index. It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks, based on their access to essential services.

Pakistan, Bangladesh Afghanistan and India are four South Asian countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis, with a ranking of 14, 15, 15 and 26 respectively. While Nepal is ranked 51, Sri Lanka is at 61st place. Bhutan is ranked 111, with children at relatively lower risk. Approximately 1 billion children live in one of the 33 countries classified as “extremely high-risk”, including the four South Asian countries.

“For the first time, we have clear evidence of the impact of climate change on millions of children in South Asia. Droughts, floods, air pollution and river erosion across the region have left millions of children homeless and hungry, and without any healthcare and water,” said George Laryea-Adjei, Unicef Regional Director for South Asia.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2021

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