3 reasons why El Niño
is bad news for children
3. It exposes children to dangers
In extreme weather events fuelled by El Niño, such as floods and typhoons, children may lose their parents, becoming more vulnerable not only to the elements but potentially also to abuse and exploitation. During droughts, many children – often girls – have to walk further to fetch water and collect firewood, exposing them to the risk of violence and abuse.
You can read more about El Niño’s impact on children in the recent Unicef publication, A wake-up call- El Niño’s impact on children (pdf).
What is Unicef doing?
Unicef is active in the countries affected and threatened by El Niño, including Angola, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Somalia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Our colleagues are helping provide clean water, life-saving food, health supplies, education, support and protection to the most vulnerable children.
In addition, we’re working with governments and partners to make sure that:
- children receive the emergency therapeutic food and milk they need to survive
- basic health supplies, including vaccines, reach children even in the most remote areas
- children have safe water to drink, prepare food and wash
- the most vulnerable households receive food or cash transfers to prevent children from engaging in risky activities such as child labour
- children can continue with their schooling in drought or flood affected areas.
We respond in a cost-effective way, preparing for heightened risk of floods and prolonged droughts and working to break the cycle of this chronic crisis.
How can you help?
Help Unicef reach children and families with clean water and sanitation facilities, life-saving food and treatment for malnutrition, psychosocial and protection support, emergency education services and importantly information about future risk reduction and disaster preparedness.
So that we can continue to be there for as many children as possible, we have a Children’s Emergency Fund. When disaster strikes, Unicef is ready to respond rapidly to deliver life-saving food, medicine and water, education and protection services so children in danger get the help they need, and can recover fast and resilient. We rely on money from our Children’s Emergency Fund to do this. And we rely on donations to keep the fund alive and enable us to respond to emergencies, whenever they come, and whatever their size.