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Be very afraid: 690 million children face the immediate threat of nature's fury

Salma Rahman | Updated on: 25 November 2015, 16:56 IST

With the UN Climate Change Conference due in a few days, a number of stories about environmental issues have been making the rounds, trying to draw attention to the cause.

This one is no different. But here's why these alarming figures might be useful to know; they may help protect your child, or your younger siblings.

The United Nations has released two reports - The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters and Unless We Act Now (released by UNICEF) - that are bound to set alarm bells ringing.


  • The number of people who have lost their lives to weather-related disasters since 1995. It was the same year when the first UN climate change conference was held in Berlin, Germany. According to the report,"The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters", 4.1 billion people were left injured or homeless in the aftermath of these events.
  • A recent report released by humanitarian organisation DARA claimed that the number might increase to 100 million people by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change.

Video: Why is climate change serious and what the world is doing about it.


US dollars

  • The amount of economic loss recorded due to the extreme weather-related calamities in the last 19 years.


  • Weather-related catastrophes were recorded each year between 2005 and 2014, the report said.

Worst disasters of the world.


  • Of the disaster-related deaths were recorded in Asia alone. Almost half of them were caused in 2008 by Cyclone Nargis, the worst natural disaster to hit Myanmar.
Cyclone Nargis_ Getty Images

The aftermath of cyclone Nargis in downtown Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo: Getty Images)

Also read: Tortoises have a lifespan of over a 100 years; But not anymore


  • The number of people who were affected due to weather-related disasters in India and China since 1995.
  • That is 75 per cent of the global total of 4.1 billion people affected due to these disasters.
  • According to the report, both the countries are hit by highest number of natural disasters. Other countries are the US, Philippines, and Indonesia.
Tsunami damage_ Getty Images

Rescue workers comb through the devastation December 28, 2004 in Phi Phi Village, Ton Sai Bay, Thailand.(Photo: Getty Images)

Also read: The world will talk climate and #COP21 from next week. Read up


  • Indians were affected by weather-related disasters during the period.
  • The 1999 Odisha cyclone alone claimed around 10,000 lives.
Odisha cyclone_ Getty images

A fishermen family salvage materials from their house damaged during Cyclone Phailin at the fishermen's village in New Podampetta village near Humma on October 14, 2013 about 190 kilometers south from Bhubaneswar, India.(Photo: Getty Images)


  • Of the world's 2.3 billion children live in areas most exposed to climate change, facing higher rates of death, poverty and disease from global warming. This data has been revealed in report released by UNICEF titled "Unless We Act Now".
  • Out of these, 530 million children live in countries hardest-hit by high floods and tropical storms, mostly in Asia.


  • Kids are growing up in areas suffering severe droughts, mostly in Africa.
  • Almost 50 million of these children are in countries where half or more of the population lives on less than four dollars per day.
  • After releasing reports, the UNICEF director Anthony Lake said "Today's children are the least responsible for climate change, but they, and their children, are the ones who will live with its consequences."
Droughts in Africa_ wiki commons

Oxfam distributing clean water to a drought-stricken area in southern Ethiopia in 2011. (Photo: Wiki Commons).

First published: 25 November 2015, 16:56 IST