UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry reads a unique weather report to draw attention to the devastating effects of climate change on the world’s children.
In the exclusive recording, launched today as world leaders continue to convene at COP21 to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, Katy shines a light on the extreme weather patterns that are emerging across the world and forcing millions of children and families to flee their homes.
UNICEF’s latest report on climate change, launched in November 2015, shows that more than half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence and 160 million live in high drought severity areas.
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“Droughts, floods, heatwaves and other severe weather conditions are putting children at an increased risk of disease and malnutrition, as well as destroying their families’ homes and livelihoods,” said UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Katy Perry.
“The worst part about this is that some of the youngest and most vulnerable citizens of our world are bearing the most unfair burden of climate change. Let’s encourage our world leaders to take this issue seriously. Share your story on how you are helping reduce climate change with the hashtag #FightUnfair. Together we can help change the forecast for millions of children.”
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The report also shows that of the 530 million children in flood-prone zones, some 300 million live in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty, surviving on less than $3.10 a day. Of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty.
Climate change means more droughts, floods, heatwaves and other severe weather conditions. These events can cause death and devastation, and can also contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea.
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This can create a vicious circle: A child deprived of adequate water and sanitation before a crisis will be more affected by a flood, drought, or severe storm, less likely to recover quickly, and at even greater risk when faced with a subsequent crisis.
Global pop superstar Katy Perry was appointed as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2013 with a special focus on engaging young people to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children and adolescents.