70% of Children in Afghanistan Are at Risk of Extreme Weather Events, Reports Save the Children

About 70% of children in Afghanistan are at risk of extreme weather events, reported Save the Children, an NGO aims to improve lives of children based in the UK. This organization published a report yesterday Thursday, November 17 at the same time as the world leaders knuckle down for the final days of climate negotiations at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The report states that Afghanistan is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world against the impacts of the climate crisis.

According to the Save the Children, nearly 13.2 million children whose families survive on farming are at serious risk.

The current drought and unseasonal summer floods wipe out crops, kill livestock, drastically reduce vital food supplies and diminish water sources, the organization added.

The organization added, “This year’s spring rains were the lowest they have been in five years and now the country’s reservoirs and other groundwater sources are drying up.”

According to this organization, “the country’s unprecedented drought is now predicted to stretch into 2023.”

“Meanwhile, summer floods in other areas of the country have destroyed 85,000 acres of crops and killed 7,500 livestock, further worsening the situation”, the organization further added.

This organizations reported that about “27.8 million people live in rural areas in Afghanistan, mostly on farms, and are likely to face increased threats from climate shocks due to their reliance on agriculture and livestock for survival.”

The organization added that the catastrophic combination of severe drought, floods and economic crisis means that many farming families are on the brink of starvation.

According to the report of the Save the Children, cases of malnutrition in children under five years old in the organization’s mobile clinics have increased by 50%.

With winter approaching and food stores drastically below what they should be after the summer harvest season, the organization warned.

It is said that access to clean water is also becoming more difficult day by day, with children walking for hours for water or, in some cases, drinking dirty water, the organization added in their report.

“Child labor is also on the rise in Afghanistan”, Save the Children warned. Desperate parents taking their children out of school and sending them to work to make up for the income they have lost due to the drought or floods, the organization added.

“Families in Afghanistan are hanging on by a thread”, Save the Children’s Country Director in Afghanistan, Chris Nyamandi said. He further added, “Leaders currently meeting at the COP27 summit must commit to bringing tangible change to the daily lives of children in Afghanistan who are suffering right now from the impacts of the climate crisis.”