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Children in four South Asian countries at ‘extremely high risk’ of the impacts of the climate crisis – UNICEF

 

According to afirst-ever report of its kind, children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistanare extremely vulnerable to climate change risks such as heatwaves and  floods

 

KATHMANDU, 23 August 2021 – Young people living in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are among those most at risk of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education, and protection, according to a new UNICEF report launched today. In addition Nepal and Sri Lanka are among the top 65 countries most impacted globally.

‘The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index’ (CCRI) is UNICEF’s first child-focused climate risk index. It ranks countries based on children’s exposure to climate and environmental shocks, such as cyclones and heatwaves, as well as their vulnerability to those shocks, based on their access to essential services.

Pakistan, Bangladesh Afghanistan and India are among four South Asian countries where children are at extremely high risk of the impacts of the climate crisis, with a ranking of 14, 15, 15 and 26 respectively. While Nepal is ranked 51, Sri Lanka is at 61st place. Bhutan is ranked 111, with children at relatively lower risk. Approximately 1 billion children live in one of the 33 countriesclassified as “extremely high-risk”, including the four South Asian countries.

“For the first time, we have clear evidence of the impact of climate change on millions of children in South Asia. Droughts, floods, air pollution and river erosion across the region have left millions of children homeless and hungry, and without any healthcare and water,” said George Laryea-Adjei, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia. “Together, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have created an alarming crisis for South Asian children. The time to act is now – if we invest in water, healthcare and education, we can protect their futures from the impacts of a changing climate and degrading environment.”

Children’s Climate Change Risk Index for South Asia, UNICEF 2021

Country Name Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI) Rank Climate and environmental shocks  Child vulnerability to climate change shocks Emissions Per Capita (Mt)
Pakistan 14 8.7 6.4 0.98
Afghanistan 15 7.3 7.9 0.20
Bangladesh 15 9.1 5.1 0.51
India 26 9.0 4.6 1.80
Nepal 51 7.5 4.2 0.43
Sri Lanka 61 7.0 3.3 1.00
Bhutan 111 4.3 3.3 1.83

The report found that these South Asian children are in constant danger from  riverine floods and air pollution, but also that investments in child health, nutrition, and education can make a significant difference to protect children from climate change.

South Asia is home to over 600 million children and has the highest number of young people globally. South Asian countries are among the most vulnerable globally to the impacts of climate change. Extreme climate-related events – heatwaves, storms, floods, fires and droughts – affect more than half of the region’s population every year and continue to burden South Asian countries’ economies.  Rising global temperatures and changing weather patterns have put the futures of millions of children living in climate-vulnerable areas in South Asia at constant risk. Worse, before they can recover from one disaster, another one strikes, reversing any progress made.

The report also reveals a disconnect between where greenhouse gas emissions are generated, and where children are enduring the most significant climate-driven impacts. The 33 extremely high-risk countries , including four from South Asia, collectively emit just 9 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Conversely, the 10 highest emitting countries collectively account for nearly 70 per cent of global emissions.

“The frightening environmental changes we are seeing across the planet are being driven by a few but experienced by many in South Asia,” added Laryea-Adjei. “We must urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work together as a community to build greater resilience in South Asia. Children and young people are at the heart of this change, withalmost half of 1.8 billion people below the age of 24 in South Asia.”

Compared to adults, children require more food and water per unit of their body weight, are less able to survive extreme weather events, and are more susceptible to toxic chemicals, temperature changes and diseases, among other factors. Without the urgent action required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally, children will continue to suffer the most.

Young people across South Asia are championing the cause. In Bangladesh, exposures to cyclones, droughts, floods and river erosion moved Tahsin, 23, to action. Through the youth organization he established, Tahsin and 400 children and young people from across the country are cleaning up public spaces, selling the plastic they collect to recycling centres and planting trees. In Pakistan, 14-year-old Zymal started producing biodegradable bags in order to clean up her country from the plastic pollution. In India, a youth filmmaker Divy is traveling across the country and spreading awareness about global warming and Gavita developed a water budgeting app.

In  light of these findings, UNICEF is urgently calling on governments, businesses and relevant actors to:

(1)  Increase investment in climate adaptation and resilience in key services for children.

(2)  Reducegreenhouse gas emissions. Countries must cut their emissions by at least 45% (compared to 2010 levels) by 2030 to keep warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

(3)  Provide children with climate education and greens skills, critical for their adaptation to and preparation for the effects of climate change.

(4)  Include young people in all national, regional and international climate negotiations and decisions, including at COP26.

(5)  Ensure the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is green, low-carbon and inclusive, so that the capacity of future generations to respond to the climate crisis is not compromised.

Notes to Editors:

 

INDIA

The CCRI has placed India as one of the 33 extremely high-risk countries, with repeated flooding and air pollution being the repeated environmental shocks leading to socio-economic adverse consequences for women and children.

It is estimated that more than 600 million Indians will face ‘acute water shortages’ in the coming years, (NITI Aayog 2018) while at the same time flash flooding is to increase significantly in the majority of India’s urban areas once the global temperature increase rises above 2° Celsius. Twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the most polluted air in 2020 were in India (IQ Air Report 2020).

Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative said, “Climate change is a child rights crisis.  The Children’s Climate Change Index data has pointed to the serious deprivations faced by children, due to the intensifying effect that climate and environmental shocks have on existing inadequate access to essential services, such as water and sanitation, healthcare and education. Understanding where and how children are uniquely vulnerable to this crisis is crucial to building our resilience and effectively addressing climate change. UNICEF hopes the findings of the report will help prioritize action to protect those most at risk and to ensure that children inherit a livable planet.”

UNICEF in India partners with the Central and State governments to build community resilience against future hazards, through key flagship programmes. In Bihar, it is supporting 45,000 villages to become more resilient through the development of risk informed disaster management plans. In Maharashtra, it has helped develop a state-wide climate change curriculum that will be rolled out in all government schools to help skill the next generation of youth on taking climate action.

Across the country, UNICEF is also working with government to ensure that Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs) take into account costed climate resilient investments going forward, that health services such as the cold-chain are energy efficient and incorporating renewable sources, sanitation and water supply programmes are sustainable and contributing to maintaining clean environments, and education plans include school safety programming that train faculty on how to invest in disaster resilience.

To support systemic and scientifically validated climate advisories for social sectors, UNICEF has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, to advance adaptation practices within social sectors. UNICEF also engages with children and youth to build awareness for climate advocacy and action.

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Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan to present Vocational Excellence Awards to seven organizations for their excellence in Covid-19 relief support and service

SCSC, Helping Hands, Vaikunta Mahaprasthanam and No Food Waste among the six organizations bestowed with the awards

 

Hyderabad : Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan (RCHD), one of the oldest clubs of the Rotary movement in Hyderabad under the Rotary Dist 3150  presented Vocation Excellence Awards here in the city online through Zoom Platform on 6th June.

Six organisations chosen for the awards.  Nirmaan.org; SCSC(Society for Cyberabad Security Council); Swasti Health Catalyst chosen for  Vocational Excellence Awards for supporting underserved and marginalized community members in accessing Covid-19 relief support and services

 

Vaikunta Mahaprasthanam; No Food Waste and Helping Hand Foundation will be given the Covid-19 Warrior Awards. Vaikunta Mahaprasthanam will be given an award for its excellence in providing dignified end-of-life services during the Covid-19 pandemic. No Food Waste, Hyderabad has supported Covid-19 patients with the distribution of food and supplies and the Helping Hands Foundation supported underserved and marginalized community members in accessing Covid-19 relief support and services.

 

Dr. Jogin DesaiFounder and CEO of Eyestem Research and Ex-Chairman of Social Venture Partners, Bangalore and  Rotarian NV Hanmantha ReddyRotary District Governor, Rotary District 3150 will be Chief Guest and Guest of honours for the awards function.

 

Giving details in a press note issued here in the city today Rotarian VVSN Raju, President of Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan said every year, the Rotary Club recognises people or organisations who have done great work beyond their duties and contributed to the welfare of the society. This year we have chosen seven  organisations, which have extended Covid-10 Relief Support and Services. Their contributions during the pandemic are more laudable.

 

Rotary recognises the dignity and usefulness of every vocation as a way to serve society, Rotarian Raju added. . 

 

Rotary, across the world every year, recognises individuals and organizations that have excelled in their vocation with an emphasis on working to the highest ethical standards. The recognitions are to showcase the awardees as role models to other professionals and the youth he said.  

 

The Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan founded in 1988.  Today it has more than 100 members from various vocations. RCHD has a proud tradition of fellowship and friendship, service and contribution to the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan Vocational Excellence Awards has felicitated several luminaries including Dr Anji Reddy and several Padma Shree awardees far ahead of the time other honours caught up with them. 

 

This year the club recognized organizations that have provided exceptional service to the society and country, especially Hyderabad, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Among many other services, Rotary Club of Hyderabad Deccan during this second wave has embarked on  Rotary’s “Mission Oxygen Support” initiative which provides Oxygen Concentrators for free use for people both in cities and rural areas. Under this project, RCHD provided 30 Personal Oxygen Concentrators for free usage for the deserving and needy. Another 40 Personal Oxygen Concentrators were given in rural areas of Telagana and AP, under the DARE PROJECT partnering with Rural Rotary Clubs. 

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Bengal’s Luminaries backs ” Find a Bed ” Movement

 

The Nation battling the second wave of coronavirus pandemic with vacillating medical infrastructure, people are coming forward to help each other. From gathering information about oxygen cylinders and vacant hospital beds to providing food to Covid patients, we have been hearing stories of empathy and compassion from across the city. Celebrities from different fraternity in the country are also doing their bit in helping people affected by the pandemic. Apart from donating money, the celebs are using Social Media to amplify SOS calls, which has helped many in distress. Celebrities from different Industries as well as entertainment fraternity including Bollywood joins hand with India’s International Movement to Unite Nations (IIMUN) is a youth-led organisation that comes forward with their new initiative ‘Find a Bed’. With Ajay Piramal, Deepak Parekh, A. R. Rahman, Shashi Tharoor, Suresh Prabhu and the Chiefs of Armed Forces on the board of advisors and a team of 26,000 students who work across 160 cities and 22 countries, the organisation is oriented towards sensitising leaders.
In light of the situation turning in India, the organisation has launched its ‘ Find A Bed’ initiative. Many patients who test positive for COVID-19 only need home quarantine to recover; however, not all of them have access to the luxury of home quarantine. This is where Find A Bed comes in: a single nationwide repository of available beds for mildly positive, asymptomatic patients. Apart from Actors, Desigeners and
Choreographers, Entertainment contingents across the Nation also came forward to join the ‘Find a Bed’ movement. Like the entire nation Bengal is battling the second wave and situation is turning difficult. The political turmoil and covid has made the state face utter difficulty. To battle this difficult time eminent personalities from different fraternities in Bengal joins the ‘Find a Bed’ movement as cause ambassadors.
Tollywood’s famous actress and member of parliament Nusrat Jahan joined as Cause ambassadors. Proficient Playback singer and eminent Painter Soumita Saha, renowned actress and Anchor Aparajita Ghosh also became active cause ambassadors of Find a Bed movement. Mumbai based, bollywood’s star Singer Shaan and Famous writter Novoneel Chakraborty, Famous Actress Bidita Bag, they all have their roots in the city of joy, joins hand with “Find a bed”. These celebrities joined hands with the movement to bring “joy” back to their hometown that’s popularly known as ‘City of Joy’. Soumita Saha posted a demo video of the screen explaining how one can find bed using the website. She also laid emphasis on the fact that one can use their regional language to find a bed. Bengali Celebrities from different fields of literature and performing art coming forward to save the state as well as the country is praise worthy.