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Save The Children Urges Action On Climate Change

Save The Children Urges Action On Climate Change


December 8 2009 - Save the Children is calling on world leaders to sign an ambitious agreement at the Copenhagen climate change conference to help the world’s children cope with the effects of global warming.

According to Save the Children’s recent report, Feeling the Heat – Child Survival in a Changing Climate, climate change is a real threat to children in the 21st century and is an immediate global emergency.

Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. The average number of natural disasters has increased from 200 since the 1980s to more than 400 today. This is predicted to increase by as much as 320 percent in the next 20 years.  Save the Children estimates that over the next decade, 175 million children per year will be affected by these disasters.

“Climate change is a global emergency – and is having a devastating effect on children’s lives right now.” said Liz Gibbs CEO, Save the Children New Zealand.

“The decisions made during the next two weeks are going to be critical. Children, who are the hardest hit by climate change, must not be forgotten.”

Climate change disasters have and will also continue to increase malnutrition and certain diseases that often kill children. Diarrhoea, the killer of two million children each year, is set to increase by as much as 10 percent by 2020 because of climate change.

Children in the poorest communities will be most affected, as climate change reduces communities’ access to clean water and their ability to grow nutritious food, increases food prices and allows malaria mosquitoes to spread.

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In East Africa the current food crisis, exacerbated by erratic weather patterns, is rapidly getting worse. Up to 20 million people are threatened with severe hunger, leaving them in desperate need of emergency food aid. In Ethiopia, 6.2 million are in urgent need of food relief and in Kenya, nearly 4 million people alone are on the brink of starvation.

“Kenya has experienced a drought for three consecutive years and children are dying every day from hunger. The world has barely noticed,” said Liz Gibbs.

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