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Legacy of disasters: the impact of climate change on children

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If children already constitute half of those affected by any emergency, how will they be affected by the growing number of climate change disasters? Using examples of recent disasters and projections of likely impacts of climate change, this report looks at how increasingly frequent and severe natural disasters will specifically affect children. It estimates that over the next decade, up to 175 million children every year will be affected by both 'slow-moving' climate-related natural disasters such as desertification, as well as an anticipated proliferation of small-scale disasters. Millions more children will be killed, forced to flee their homes and put at risk from hunger, disease and physical or sexual abuse.In addition to greater carbon reduction efforts by developed countries, the report urges the development of measures designed to help children and their communities prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change, that would be built into village, regional, national and international planning.However, the report also argues that the best successes come when children identify concerns and risks, and participate in – rather than be passive recipients of – risk reduction strategies, and provides examples of where children have participated in risk identification and warning systems.