Children made up nearly half of the people driven into hunger and malnutrition by extreme weather events in countries heavily impacted by the climate crisis in 2022, according to a UK-based charity.
Citing data by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, or IPC hunger monitoring system, Britain’s Save the Children said Tuesday that children made up 27 million of the 57 million “people pushed into crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse across 12 countries because of extreme weather events in 2022.”
“As climate-related weather events become more frequent and severe, we will see more drastic consequences on children’s lives,” said Gwen Hines, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children UK. “In 2022, 135% more children were pushed into hunger due to extreme weather events than the year before.”
Half of the 27 million affected children came from the most affected countries of Ethiopia and Somalia.
Save the Children highlighted Somalia as particularly vulnerable to climate crises, pointing to the country’s five consecutive failed rainy seasons and the recent impact of flooding that displaced 650,000 people, about half of which are children.
Save the Children also identified Pakistan, which last year saw floods affect some 33 million people, with half being children. A year after the flood, “2 million flood-affected children are acutely malnourished, with almost 600,000 children suffering from the deadliest form of malnutrition,” the charity said.
Save the Children also called on world leaders from high income nations ahead of the COP28, the United Nations climate summit, to address the climate crisis, by “providing funding for losses and damages and climate adaptation.”
“To truly protect children now and in the future, robust support for the new Loss and Damage Fund is non-negotiable,” Hines said. “At COP28, world leaders must listen to the demands of children and invite them to be part of proposing solutions.”
Save the Children also called on action from leaders to address the “acute food and nutrition insecurity such as conflict, inequality, and a lack of resilient health, nutrition and social protection systems.”
Some information in this report came from Agence France-Presse.