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Climate change threat to millions of Bangladeshi children

April 6, 2019 10:44 am

The lives and futures of more than 19 million Bangladeshi children are at risk.

This follows the colossal impact of devastating floods, cyclones and other environmental disasters linked to climate change, according to a report by the United Nations children’s agency released yesterday.

The Unicef report said the estimate includes hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee children from Burma, also known as Myanmar, who are living in squalid camps in Bangladesh’s coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.

The report says that because of the impact of climate, families across Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation crisscrossed by more than 130 rivers, have migrated to big cities from villages after losing their livelihoods to increasing salinity in arable land, flooding, or river bank erosion. It documents children being forced into sex trafficking or marriage to survive.

Around 12 million of the most affected children live in and around the powerful river systems — which include the river Buriganga in Hazaribagh area in Dhaka (below) — which regularly burst their banks, Unicef’s Dhaka spokesman, Jean-Jacques Simon, said.

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