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222 mn Indian children face double threat of disasters, poverty: Report

About 51 per cent of children in India are living under the dual impacts of poverty and the climate emergency, according to a new study

poverty, inequality

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
About 51 per cent of children in India are living under the dual impacts of poverty and the climate emergency, according to a new study.
There are almost 350 million children across Asia, including 222 million in India, who are gripped by both grinding poverty and climate disaster, the 'Generation Hope: 2.4 billion reasons to end the global climate and inequality crisis' report stated.
Developed by child rights NGO Save the Children and climate modelling from researchers at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, it also stated that Cambodia topped the list of Asian countries most likely to face this "double threat", with 72 per cent of children in the country affected, followed by Myanmar (64 per cent) and Afghanistan (57 per cent).
However, India was ranked the highest globally in terms of overall number of children facing this "double threat" of poverty and climate disaster, it stated.
While 351.9 million children in India are estimated to be affected by at least one extreme climate event a year, some of them are at particular risk because they are living in poverty and so have fewer resources to protect themselves and recover, the report stated.
Globally, 774 million children fall into this high-risk group, according to the report which also stated that higher-income countries are not immune from this "double threat".
The report found that 121 million children facing both climate disaster and poverty live in higher income countries. More than four out of 10 children affected (12.3 million) live in the US or the UK.
Save the Children warned that if the climate and inequality crises are not addressed with urgency, the frequency and severity of humanitarian and cost of living crises are set to soar.
The climate emergency and issues of inequality are deeply connected, and cannot be dealt with in isolation from each other. In India, this connection could not be any more obvious, Save the Children's Chief Executive Officer in India Sudarshan Suchi said.
"The disastrous floods we've seen in Assam, Kerala and cyclone prone Odisha hit the marginalised communities the hardest, leaving thousands of people hungry and homeless. Crises like these push people even deeper into grinding poverty and leave millions of people even more vulnerable to the next flood or drought," he said.
Suchi said as leaders prepare to travel to the COP27 and G20 summits in November, and especially as India gears up to host G20 summit next year, "our most vulnerable children should be at the forefront of their minds".
In particular, the world's richest countries, whose historic emissions have driven the climate and inequality crises, must lead the way in unlocking trillions in financing for countries that are struggling to protect their children from its impacts, including through climate finance, particularly for adaptation and loss and damage, he added.
To estimate the number of children living in poverty and affected by climate risk, Save the Children estimated the proportion of climate-affected children and children affected by poverty in 1,925 sub-national regions across 159 countries, covering 98 per cent of the total child population.
For the purposes of the study, the 'Asia region' was defined as a list of 24 countries with a total population of 1.156 billion children.
Of these countries, 20 were included in the analysis with a total population of 1.146 billion children (99.1 per cent of children in Asia): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 26 2022 | 9:31 PM IST

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