The numbers of children affected by flooding in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chad and Gambia are the highest in over 30 years, according to a latest UNICEF report.
As COP27 gets underway in Egypt, UNICEF also warns this year has brought overwhelming flooding to at least 27.7 million children in 27 countries worldwide.
A large majority of the 27.7 million children affected by flooding in 2022 are among the most vulnerable and are at high risk of a multitude of threats, including death by drowning, disease outbreaks, a lack of safe drinking water, malnutrition, disruption in learning, and violence.
“We are seeing unprecedented levels of flooding all around the world this year, and with it, an explosion in threats to children,” said Paloma Escudero, head of the UNICEF delegation for COP27. “The climate crisis is here. In many places, the flooding is the worst it has been in a generation, or several. Our children are already suffering at a scale their parents never did.”
The aftermath of floods is often more deadly for children than the extreme weather events that caused the flooding. In 2022, floods will have contributed to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria, cholera, and diarrhea.
In Pakistan, more than one in nine children under the age of five were admitted to health facilities in flood-affected areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
In Chad, 465,030 hectares of farmland were destroyed, worsening the already dire food insecurity situation.
In Malawi, torrential rains and flooding caused by tropical storm Ana in January 2022 caused extensive damage to water and sanitation systems, which created the perfect conditions for a cholera outbreak. The outbreak has claimed the lives of 203 people, of whom 28 are children. —APP