Heat waves to harm health of 2 billion children, UNICEF warns

Some 559 million children are already exposed to the increased frequency of heat waves, a figure that will reach 2,020 million in 2050, UNICEF warns in the new report.

The report underlines “the urgent need” to adapt services on which children depend as “the inevitable consequences of global warming” are revealed. UNICEF experts warn: “the more heat waves children experience, the greater the probability that they will suffer from health problems” such as chronic respiratory conditions, asthma and cardiovascular diseases. Babies and young children are most at risk of dying from heat. Heat waves can also influence children’s environment, their safety, nutrition and access to water, as well as their education and future livelihoods.

UNICEF urges governments to put in place a series of measures, such as adapting the most important social services water, sanitation and hygiene, health, education, nutrition, social protection and child protection – to protect children and young people. The UNICEF experts underline the need to strengthen food supply chains to withstand threats and ensure continued access to healthy food. And, at COP27 “priority must be given to children and their rights” when making decisions related to adaptation, the UNICEF report concluders

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