In an exclusive recording launched as world leaders gather today in Paris, France, for the high-level segment of the United Nations climate change conference (COP21), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador and global pop star Katy Perry read a unique weather report to draw attention to the devastating effects of the phenomenon on the world’s children.
“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. 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,” said Ms. Perry in a news release issued by UNICEF.
In her weather report, Ms. Perry highlighted the extreme weather patterns that are emerging across the world and forcing millions of children and families to flee their homes.
According to a major report launched by UNICEF in November, over half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence and 160 million live in high drought severity areas.
The report also revealed that of the 530 million children in flood-prone zones, some 300 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty, surviving on less than $3.10 a day; and of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty.
UNICEF stressed that climate change means more droughts, floods, heatwaves and other severe weather conditions, which can cause death and devastation, and can also contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea.
Further, the climatic activities can create a vicious circle. For example, 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.
In the exclusive weather report, Ms. Perry called on viewers to share their story on how they are helping reduce climate change as part of the #FightUNfair campaign.
“Let’s encourage our world leaders to take this issue seriously. […]Together we can help change the forecast for millions of children,” said Ms. Perry, who 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.