聯合國兒童基金會:氣候變化的衝擊 兒童首當其衝

 

聯合國兒童基金會:氣候變化的衝擊 兒童首當其衝

On 12 November, a woman cradling a baby stands amid debris and other destruction caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban City – the area worst affected by the disaster – on the central island of Leyte. Water, sanitation and hygiene, food, medicine, shelter, debris clearance and communications are among the priority needs. Blocked roads have limited access and the delivery of relief supplies. On 12 November 2013 in the Philippines, Government-led emergency relief and recovery operations continue in the wake of the destruction caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), which hit the central Philippines on 8 November. At least 2,500 people have been killed in the Category-5 storm; the death toll is expected to rise as more affected areas become accessible. Some 11.3 million people, including an estimated 4.7 million children, in nine regions across the country have been affected, and more than 673,000 people have been displaced. Most of them are sheltering in overcrowded evacuation centres. The storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the world, also destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, roads, communications and other basic infrastructure, and damaged power and water supply systems. As a result, access to the many areas remains limited, hampering humanitarian relief operations. In response to the emergency, UNICEF is rushing critical supplies to affected areas, including therapeutic food for children, health kits, and water and hygiene kits for up to 3,000 families. UNICEF is also airlifting US $1.3 million in additional relief supplies from its supply warehouse in Copenhagen for another 10,000 families, including those affected by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol Province in mid-October. The shipments contain water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulin sheets and micronutrient supplements. UNICEF is also supporting water and sanitation, education and child protection interventions for vulnerable children and
© UNICEF/NYHQ2013-1027/Maitem
一名婦女和她的嬰兒站在菲律賓超強颱風海燕造成的廢墟中。

超過5億兒童生活在經常氾濫成災的地區,1.6億兒童生活在嚴重乾旱地區

紐約/日內瓦/香港,2015年11月24日—聯合國兒童基金會在聯合國召開第21屆氣候變化大會(即COP21)前發佈的一份報告中說,全球有超過5億兒童生活在洪水經常氾濫成災的地區,並有1.6億兒童生活在嚴重乾旱地區。這些兒童極可能因氣候變化而受到衝擊。
生活在經常氾濫成災的地區的5.3億兒童中,有大約3億兒童於過半人口屬貧困國家生活–亦即是說,他們每天的生活費不足3.1美元(約24港元)。至於生活在嚴重乾旱地區的兒童中,有500萬於過半人口屬貧困國家生活。
聯合國兒童基金會執行主任安東尼.雷克指出:「這些數據說明時間緊逼,必須採取行動。目前這一代兒童對氣候變化應付最少的責任,但是他們和他們的後代將與氣候變化造成的後果一起生活,而往往最弱勢的社區面對的威脅最大。」
氣候變化意味着更多乾旱、洪水和熱浪等惡劣天氣。這些天氣現象將造成死亡、帶來破壞,並加劇兒童致命疾病的擴散,如營養不良、瘧疾和腹瀉。這將造成一個惡性循環:在危機發生前本來已經無法獲得充足飲用水和衛生設施的兒童,將更有可能、更難以從洪水、乾旱或者超強風暴等惡劣天氣中盡快恢復過來;甚至在之後的危機中,面對更大的風險。
生活在經常氾濫成災地區的兒童大部分均在亞洲,而生活在乾旱易發區的兒童則大多數在非洲。
11月30日至12月11日在巴黎參加COP21會議的世界領導人,會於削減溫室氣體排放問題上尋求共識。很多專家指出,削減溫室氣體排放,對於防止全球溫度災難性上升非常重要。
雷克說:「我們知道應該怎麼做才能預防氣候變化造成的破壞性的影響。袖手旁觀並不合情理。為了我們的下一代,為了我們的地球,我們必須在COP21大會上作出正確的決定。」
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