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Save the Children urges leaders to act to safeguard children in India amidst historic heatwave

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Save the Children urges leaders to act to safeguard children in India amidst historic heatwave

India’s Vulnerable Population Faces Health Risks Amidst Severe Heatwave

New Delhi, 31 May 2024: India is currently experiencing one of its worst heatwaves on record, with temperatures soaring up to 50°C in many regions of north India. Save the Children, known as Bal Raksha Bharat in India, warns that children’s health is being severely tested due to the extreme heat.

As the country grapples with increasingly severe heatwaves, children, who are the most vulnerable population, face significant health and developmental risks such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can also lead to long-term health issues, affecting the physical and cognitive development of children.

Rising temperatures can worsen the spread of diseases and increase levels of malnutrition, especially among children from marginalized communities who lack access to basic necessities like shelter, clean water, and healthcare.

Call for Urgent Action

Sudarshan Suchi, CEO of Bal Raksha Bharat, emphasizes the need for immediate action to protect children from heat-related illnesses and the adverse effects of climate change. He highlights the importance of implementing measures like advanced heatwave prediction systems, resilient infrastructure, and international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that unless prompt global action is taken, the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves, will continue to rise. Save the Children calls on the Indian government, civil society, and the international community to take urgent and comprehensive steps to mitigate the impact of heatwaves on children.

Expert Dialogue at UN Bonn Climate Change Conference

Save the Children hopes that the dialogue on children and climate change at the upcoming UN Bonn Climate Change Conference will lead to a better understanding of the unique challenges children face due to climate change. It aims to drive more investment and action towards climate policy solutions specifically designed to protect children.

FAQ

Q: What are the risks children face during severe heatwaves?

A: Children face risks such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke during severe heatwaves.

Q: How can the impact of heatwaves on children be mitigated?

A: Measures like advanced heatwave prediction systems, resilient infrastructure, and international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can help mitigate the impact of heatwaves on children.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the severe heatwave in India serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, particularly children. Immediate action is necessary to protect the health and well-being of the youngest and most vulnerable citizens, ensuring a sustainable future for all.

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