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, Perry 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, shows more than half a billion children live in areas with extremely high flood occurrence, and 160 million live in high-drought-severity areas.
"Droughts, floods, heat waves 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," Perry said. "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."
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.
Droughts, floods, heat waves and other severe weather conditions can cause death and devastation, and can also contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhea. 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.
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.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child. Together with its partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.