Climate Change: More Than 110 Million Children At Risk– UNICEF
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund has revealed that over 110 million Nigerian children are at risk of the effects of climate change. It also said that Nigeria was the second most vulnerable country worldwide in terms of children’s exposure to climate change. This is contained in a statement by Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria at the end of an inter school quiz competition on Monday in Gombe State as part of activities to mark the 2023 World Children’s Day.
The day, established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day, is celebrated on Nov. 20 each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. The global observance day has “For Every Child, Every Right” as its theme.
According to her, Nigerian children are also confronted with flooding, drought and severe storms. She stated that child displacement due to environmental disasters such as flood from 2016 to 2021 in Nigeria stood at 650,000.
She added that “the 2023 World Children’s Day celebration is a crucial platform for children to voice out their concerns and experiences. Nigeria celebrated World Children’s Day, focusing on child rights amid escalating climate crisis. Events across the country saw children from various regions, including Abuja, Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Sokoto, and Maiduguri, leading discussions on the significant impact of climate change on their lives and future. The discussions covered various critical issues, including the direct health impact of climate change on children, such as increased physical dangers, waterborne diseases, and malnutrition. The event also shed light on the alarming rate of child displacement due to environmental disasters, with 650,000 children displaced from 2016 to 2021 due to floods. Over 110 million Nigerian children are at risk, having confronted the harsh realities of rising temperatures, flooding, drought, and severe storms,” she said.
Munduate, however, said that children’s input in this years celebration was essential in shaping stakeholders collective path toward a sustainable and resilient future.
The Officer in Charge, UNICEF Bauchi Field Office, Mr Clement Adams, said children must be celebrated and a better environment must be put in place for them to thrive.