November 30, 2023

UNICEF says 43.1 million children displaced by severe climate conditions over six years

In a shocking report released on Friday, the United Nations Children’s agency, UNICEF said about 20,000 children were displaced every day between 2016 and 2021 as a result of the impacts of climate change on children.

The report added that a total of about 43 million children, on average, were displaced in the period under review due to the impacts of storms, floods, fires and other severe weather situations exacerbated by climate change.

UNICEF explained that about 113 million displacements of children over the next 30 years may be possible considering moderate projections that only take into risks from flooding rivers, cyclonic winds and floods.

The report indicated that floods and storms accounted for 40.9 million – or 95 per cent – of recorded child displacements between 2016 and 2021, due in part to better reporting and more pre-emptive evacuations.

UNICEF highlighted further that “droughts triggered more than 1.3 million internal displacements of children – with Somalia again among the most affected, while wildfires triggered 810,000 child displacements, with more than a third occurring in 2020 alone. Canada, Israel and the United States recorded the most.”

The report stressed that “Children are especially at risk of displacement in countries already grappling with overlapping crises, such as conflict and poverty, where local capacities to cope with any additional displacements of children are strained.”

The UN agency urges governments, donors, development partners, and the private sector to take needed actions to protect children and young people at risk of future displacement and prepare them and their communities.

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