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  • The climate crisis climate change impacts, trends and vulnerabilities of children in Sub Saharan Africa
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The climate crisis climate change impacts, trends and vulnerabilities of children in Sub Saharan Africa

Source(s):  United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

This report reviews the climate change risks, trends and impacts and the related vulnerabilities on children in sub-Saharan Africa. It also highlights UNICEF’s mandate as the advocate for children and women affected by the climate crisis, and demonstrates existing climate adaptation, mitigation, and communications and advocacy initiatives – including through a series of eight case studies – that UNICEF is strategically positioned to take to scale as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Children are the least responsible for climate change, yet will bear the greatest burden of its impact. Nearly 160 million children live in high drought-severity zones and 500 million (almost a quarter of the world’s child population) live in extremely high flood occurrence zones. It is projected that by 2040, almost 600 million children will be living in areas of extremely high- water supply stress conditions. Sub-Saharan Africa hosts several climate change hotspots, where strong physical and ecological effects of climate change intersect with large populations of poor and vulnerable communities.

Modelling for different climate futures indicates that subtropical southern Africa could see a decrease in annual precipitation of up to 30 per cent, contributing to an increase in aridity in the region. Projected sea-level rise would increase flooding, particularly on the coasts of Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique in eastern Africa, increasing the high socio-economic and physical vulnerability of coastal cities. In addition to the risks of flooding around coastal areas, approximately 10 million children live around Lake Victoria, which is also prone to flooding.



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  • The climate crisis climate change impacts, trends and vulnerabilities of children in Sub Saharan Africa
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Dr Godfrey, Samuel; Tunhuma, Farai A.
  • Number of pages 92 p.

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