Save the Children Philippines is deeply concerned for the safety and welfare of children from 5.6 million low-income households who are exposed to various risks and hazards from disasters and emergencies as the country braces for 15 cyclones this year.
With the Philippines ranking first in the 2022 World Risk Index with the highest risk of disasters in the world, families living in poverty have less protection from the impacts of climate disasters and have less support and resources to adapt to climate-related change.
During climate emergencies, many affected families find it hard to send their children to school or even access healthcare.
Children suffer the most because they look for work to help augment their daily needs. Filipino girls are at greater risk of being abused, neglected, exploited, or subjected to child marriage.
“No child deserves to grow up in poverty and an unsafe environment. But the reality is grim. Millions of Filipino children remain poor due to inequality and discrimination, and their situation is exacerbated by the climate crisis,” said Save the Children Philippines CEO Atty. Albert Muyot.
Muyot added that many children lack access to basic services on health, education, proper nutrition, or adequate housing.
“Hence, our work for and with children also focuses on building the resilience of children and families from the negative impacts of the climate and inequality crises,” Muyot said.
To help address the issue, Save the Children Philippines’ child-led “Generation Hope Campaign” is asking the government and concerned sectors to prioritize actions that would contribute to a safer, fairer, and healthy environment for children.
“We demand child-centered climate change mitigation and adaptation plans. Let us save the planet to save the children,” said Jan, 17, a Generation Hope youth advocate.
In celebration of World Environment Day, GH youth and children advocates in Eastern Samar program areas will hold a symbolic paper boat activity this week. The paper boat contains letters appealing for local and national leaders to adopt and implement environmental policies that protect their futures.
In partnership with the Department of Education, Save the Children Philippines also deployed a holistic Disaster Risk Reduction Management Information System which implements the Comprehensive School Safety Ecosystem in the country. The system safeguards schools and communities and ensures uninterrupted learning during disasters or other emergencies.
“Without urgent and concrete actions to mitigate the negative impact of climate change and support for the most vulnerable families, we are at a setback in fulfilling children’s right to survive, learn, be protected, and thrive,” said Save the Children Philippines Environmental Health Advisor Rexel Abrigo.
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