A new UNICEF initiative seeks to protect children from the risks of climate disasters

The project combines the financing of immediate resilience and risk prevention programs. At the moment, it focuses on eight countries in different regions that are prone to cyclones and seeks to support some 15 million children, youth and women during an initial period of three years. The agency asks donors for 30 million dollars for its implementation.

The United Nations Children’s Fund ( UNICEF ) unveiled a new climate finance initiative on Wednesday designed to help countries cope with the increasing impacts of the climate crisis and better cope with disasters.

The “Today and Tomorrow” initiative combines funding for programs to improve climate resilience and disaster risk prevention, as well as preparedness for these phenomena, strengthening the protection of children, through a platform of resources provided by the insurance market.

UNICEF Executive Director of Partnerships, Karin Hulshof, recalled that the world is aware that more climate disasters are brewing every moment, the only thing that is not known is when or where they will occur.

“The risks of climate change are no longer hypothetical. They are here and even as we work to build the resilience of communities in the face of climate disasters, we have to be much better at preventing risks to our children,” added Hulshof.

Vulnerable population

Children and young people are a highly vulnerable population that is among the most affected by extreme weather events.

Last year, UNICEF’s Children’s Climate Risk Index estimated that 400 million children are currently exposed to cyclones.

Therefore, the three-year initial period of the initiative will focus on Bangladesh, Comoros, Haiti, Fiji, Madagascar, Mozambique, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, all countries prone to such phenomena.

The project requires 30 million dollars that UNICEF is requesting from donors, in addition to inviting public and private agents to close the growing deficit in humanitarian aid programs for the protection of children and young people in the face of climatic disasters.

UNICEF explained that the damage caused by extreme weather events perpetuates and deepens inequality and poverty between generations, and existing assistance mechanisms do not meet the specific needs of hundreds of millions of children and youth.

guaranteed support

The “Today and Tomorrow” initiative is the first pre-established climate disaster risk financing mechanism to specifically focus on inadequate child protection, with future-guaranteed support from the German and UK governments.

The director of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, Heike Henn, expressed that she hopes the initiative will bear fruit in the areas of knowledge sharing and greater familiarity with financing instruments, improved resilience, and narrowing the income gap. protection against disaster risk, especially for children and mothers.

For his part, the UK’s Africa and Development Minister, Andrew Mitchell, spoke in favor of providing pre-arranged, trigger-based funding to the humanitarian sector so that it can respond quickly when cyclones hit.

The disasters that increase the most

UNICEF noted that cyclones and related calamities, such as floods and landslides, are the fastest growing weather-related disasters and a leading cause of loss and damage globally.

According to the agency, investments that reduce exposure and impacts from cyclones can significantly reduce the risk of these phenomena for millions of children.

UNICEF is the first UN agency to contract disaster risk coverage for the protection of children, young people and mothers.

The Children’s Fund urged leaders to take immediate action to protect children from climate devastation by adapting the critical social services they depend on.

Source: UN News Service