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Climate Crisis Threatens Pakistani Children’s Lives


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In Pakistan, torrential and unseasonal rains are once again wreaking havoc, posing a dire threat to children’s lives. This grim reality serves as a haunting reminder of the devastating floods in 2022, where 500 children lost their lives as villages in southern Sindh were inundated with 10 years’ worth of rainfall. Despite significant aid efforts, millions of children in flood-affected areas still require urgent humanitarian assistance.

Impact of Climate Change and Pollution on Children’s Health

The catastrophic floods underscore the profound impact of climate change and pollution on children’s health in Pakistan. Record-breaking temperatures expose children to heat stress, while pervasive air pollution increases the risk of life-threatening respiratory diseases. Shockingly, approximately 12% of deaths in Pakistani children under five are attributed to air pollution, highlighting the urgent need for environmental action.

Children at “Extremely High Risk”

Children in Pakistan are trapped in a vicious cycle of droughts and floods, with their physical and cognitive development profoundly affected by environmental factors. They are deemed to be at “extremely high risk” from the impacts of the climate crisis, necessitating urgent intervention to safeguard their well-being and future.

The Urgent Call to Action

On Earth Day, there is a pressing need to intensify efforts to shield Pakistani children from the ravages of climate change, pollution, and related disasters. Key measures include:

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Urgent action is needed to curb emissions from coal and fossil fuels, with a particular emphasis on holding accountable the world’s top polluters. Transitioning to renewable energy sources such as solar power is crucial in mitigating climate risks.

Enacting Policies to Protect Children: Governments must enact robust policies and legislation to address climate change and its disproportionate impact on children and women. This includes measures to mitigate exposure to toxic metals, chemicals, hazardous waste, and air pollution.

Investing in Children: Greater investment is needed to address child stunting, malnutrition, and build resilient infrastructure such as schools, health centers, and sanitation facilities that can withstand natural disasters. Additionally, there is a need to allocate more climate funds towards projects benefiting children’s welfare.

Advocating for Children’s Rights at COP30: World leaders must prioritize children’s rights and well-being at international forums like COP30, working towards securing the 1.5-degree temperature limit to prevent further environmental degradation.

A Call for Radical Action

The fate of Pakistan’s children hangs in the balance, necessitating radical action to combat the climate crisis and pollution. As custodians of the future, we owe it to the next generation to ensure they inherit a safe and clean world. By taking decisive action today, we can protect the most vulnerable among us and pave the way for a sustainable and equitable future for all.

News Desk, where most of the News Item edit for THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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