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Climate Change Drives Over 27 Million Children Into Hunger in 2022: A Call for Urgent Action

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Rizwan Shah
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Climate Change Drives Over 27 Million Children Into Hunger in 2022: A Call for Urgent Action

In 2022, extreme weather events due to climate change drove more than 27 million children into hunger and malnutrition, marking a 135% increase from the previous year, according to Save The Children. These children constituted almost half of the 57 million individuals who faced acute food insecurity crises in 12 countries, largely located in the Horn of Africa, and impacted by phenomena such as floods and droughts. Somalia and Pakistan were two of the most affected nations, with millions of people displaced and impacted.

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Children: The Unseen Victims of Climate Change

Heavy rains and floods in recent weeks displaced about 650,000 people, with children making up half of this number. Ethiopia and Somalia accounted for about half of the 27 million children affected by hunger last year. In Pakistan, over two million children are acutely malnourished a year after devastating floods. This highlights the alarming situation in regions vulnerable to climate change, where weather extremes are the primary drivers of hunger.

Addressing the Root Causes of Food Insecurity

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Save The Children emphasizes that conflicts and economic effects contribute to famine more than climate events. It estimates that 774 million children are living with dual impacts of poverty and high climate risk. The charity urges world leaders to address the causes of food insecurity, considering children as change agents in the face of the climate crisis, at the upcoming COP28.

Education and Climate Crisis: An Urgent Call to Action

In response to the climate crisis, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), issued an urgent appeal for USD 150 million in new funding. The appeal aims to connect education action with climate action, ensuring learning continuity by providing mental health and psychosocial support, school rehabilitation and resilience, child protection, and risk mitigation. This underscores the pressing need to protect children on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) also calls for urgent climate action to protect those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. With a staggering 57 million people pushed into acute hunger by climate extremes last year, the U.N. World Food Programme seeks to showcase solutions to protect those hardest hit by climate change, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

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