Climate Cable

UNICEF: Children at extremely high risk of climate change impacts in Nigeria

Vivian Chime

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has ranked Nigeria as the second-highest risk country where children are susceptible to the impact of climate change.

In its ‘Children’s Climate Risk Index’ released on Friday, the UN agency ranked Central Africa Republic (CAR) the highest risk out of 163 countries while Nigeria and Chad are second on the list.

The report said Nigeria ranked low due to children’s high exposure to air pollution and coastal floods. 

The report, however, noted that investment in social services, particularly child health, nutrition and education, could help to reverse the trend, safeguard children’s future and provide better protection against climate change.


“Young people living in Nigeria are among those most at risk of the impacts of climate change, threatening their health, education and protection,” the report reads.

“Approximately one billion children, nearly half of the world’s 2.2 billion children live in one of the 33 countries classified as ‘extremely high-risk’.

“These findings reflect the number of children impacted today, with figures likely to get worse as the impact of climate change accelerates.”


Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria representative, said investment in water, healthcare and education would help to reduce the impact of climate change on children and protect their future.

Hawkins said climate change remains a child’s rights crisis, adding that nothing has been done to address the issue.

The report advised that emissions should be reduced as children are more susceptible to toxic chemicals and temperature changes.

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.
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