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Who will be the most affected by Climate Change?

By: Parrys Raines, Category: Science, Date: 02 Feb 2010

Children in developing countries already have a tough time but their lives will become even tougher because of climate change.

The people who will be most affected by climate change apart from you and me are children in developing countries. They will have to put up with the harsh consequences of climate change the most. They already have it tough and it is concerning and upsetting knowing they are facing an even tougher future.

Children in developing countries produce very little or no carbon emissions yet the impact of climate change for them will be huge. They will have less water, less crops for food and their health will also be affected. Due to changing temperatures and rainfall patterns malaria cases will increase. These children and their families already experience poverty, hunger and illness.

“Nearly 10 million children under the age of five die every year of largely preventable diseases. Malaria – which currently claims the lives of around 800,000 children every year – is sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall and could become more common if weather patterns change”. Source: UNICEF UK Climate Change Report 2008
“The number of children dying each year due to the effects of malnutrition – currently 3.5 million – is likely to increase as a result of climate change”. Source: In the Face of Disaster: Children and Climate Change, Save the Children Alliance

When these children become ill they cannot go to school. If their education is affected they are less likely to break out of the poverty cycle.

“Climate change can also have a significant impact on a child's ability to attend school. For instance, during the July 2007 floods in Sudan, nearly 200 schools were damaged, affecting nearly 45,000 children”. Sources: Association for Childhood Education International, UNICEF UK Climate Change Report 2008

Climate change may bring more natural disasters such as Hurricanes and Tsunami’s and these events will also affect these children. We have already witnessed some of these natural disasters and it is scary to think that there will be more.

“Approximately 175 million children will be affected by climate change induced natural disasters every year over the next decade. This is 50 million more than during the ten years to 2005”. Source: Legacy of Disasters; Children Bear the Brunt of Climate Warming, Save the Children UK 2007

“Children are more likely than adults to perish during natural disasters or succumb to malnutrition, injuries or disease in the aftermath. Over 96% of all disaster-related deaths worldwide in recent years have occurred in developing countries”. Source: UNICEF UK Climate Change Report 2008

“Women and children account for more than 75% of displaced people following natural disasters. For instance, during the July 2007 floods in Bangladesh, 4.2 million children were affected, 300,000 of them under the age of five”. Source: UNICEF UK Climate Change Report 2008

“An estimated 650,000 people, of which 300,000 children, were affected by back-to-back hurricanes in Haiti in 2008”. Source: UNICEF Press release (6 September 2008)

Less than two years after the Hurricanes hit Haiti they are facing another natural disaster as a result of the recent earthquake. It takes time, lots of time to recover from mass destruction as a result of a natural disaster and the poor people of Haiti face more hardship within a small space of time.

It is one of my goals to educate fellow kids in Australia and around the world that we can help fellow children in need. As we grow into adults we will then have the skills and knowledge to pass down to the next generation. There appears to be a lack of political will to help kids more in developing nations but we don’t always need politicians to help and make the decisions for us, we can all do something to help if we have the will.

Remember ‘Habits made today will help life tomorrow’.