'As impact of climate crisis worsens, Caribbean islands see six-fold increase in number of children, new UNICEF report shows
Spike in displacement could be more 5 hurricanes in the region
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NEW YORK / PANAMA, December 6, 2019 – The estimated number of children displaced by floods in the Caribbean islands * a six-fold increase in the past five years, a new UNICEF report said today.
Share of UNICEF's Children's Alert series, 'Children in the Caribbean: How strong hurricanes linked to a changing climate is driving child displacement' found that an estimated 761,000 children were internally displaced by the Caribbean between 2014 and 2018 – the hottest five- year period on record. This is an increase of nearly 600,000, compared to 175,000 children displaced in the preceding five-year period from 2009 to 2013. **
“This report is a stark reminder that the climate crisis is a child rights crisis,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Children in storm and flood-prone nations around the world are among the most vulnerable to having their lives and rights upended. They are already feeling the impacts of climate change, so they should be aware of the effects of climate change. “
The report notes that the primary cause of the dramatic increase in a tropical cyclone cyclones or hurricanes that hit the region between 2016 and 2018 – including four Category 5 storms. More than 400,000 children in the Caribbean Islands were displaced by hurricanes during 2017 alone.
The report warns that without urgent action to mitigate the effects of climate change, the increasing proportion of severe storms would likely result in similarly high levels of forced displacement
Forced displacement from hurricanes can be compared to roads, bridges, power networks, agriculture, schools, hospitals, water and sanitation systems. Children are particularly vulnerable during population displacements, especially if their parents are killed or separated from their families.
DISPLACED CHILDREN AND THEIR DISABLED DISPUTES AND THE POSSIBILITY OF DISPENSING THEM. education, protection and health care.
The report also calls for governments to take action against disaster. Some of the recommendations include:
Contributing to the heart of climate change strategies and
Reduce carbon emissions and pollution;
Provide the effects of climate change and environmental degradation
displaced persons with protection and access to essential services
Help displaced families stay together; and
Ensuring that they have legal status when they are forced to do so.
UNICEF is working with the Caribbean to protect and support children. Climate change mitigation, development policies and resilience planning, UNICEF focuses on children and works to establish disaster – risk reduction strategies. This work includes:
Providing lifesaving humanitarian assistance for children and families affected by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Caribbean;
Working with partners on services and infrastructure, including health, water and sanitation systems, education and child protection; and
Working with governments to advocate for climate change and its effects; invest in data and research; track disease and increase vaccine coverage;
Notes to editors:
* The report looks at the small island developing states of the Caribbean which include: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba , Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and US Virgin Islands.
** These estimates are based on data from UNICEF and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.