In Australia and around the world, the growing number of extreme weather events are impacting the lives of children. In Somalia, drought is reducing access to food and safe water. In Pakistan, floods are destroying schools and health centres. Here at home, bushfires are disrupting education.
Our research tells us the psychological effects of climate disasters are having an impact on children and affecting their chance to reach their full potential. Every child deserves to grow up in a safe, clean and healthy environment
Here are three innovative ways you are making a difference to ensure children are climate resilient and prepared for the future.
How is UNICEF responding to the climate crisis?
In Somalia, boreholes are supporting displaced people to return home
Life for farmer Abdirizak and his young family in rural Somalia has not been easy in recent years. Without rain, 3.5 million people have been facing acute water shortages. Like many others, Abdirizak’s family was forced to leave their home, schools and community in constant search of fertile land. The family rely on 230 goats, sheep and camels for milk, meat and income.
"My children’s future is with them [the animals]."
But there is hope yet. Thanks to some innovative engineering, UNICEF is supporting families in Somalia by constructing 400m deep boreholes in rural communities. They boreholes are sustainable and improve the ability of people and systems to anticipate, adapt to and recover from the negative effects of climate change.
“Now that there is water, my whole family can stay close by. This borehole is like an oasis.” says Abdirizak.
Thanks to our generous supporters, Abdirizak now has constant access to fresh and clean water to take care of his land, animals and most importantly, his children.
Climate is the biggest threat facing the world's children today. Protect them in a changing climate by donating today.
In Mongolia, innovative construction mean children can breathe clean air again
In most parts of Mongolia, children and families like local mother Handarmaa and her young son live in ‘Ger’s,’ a round wood or plastic hut that supports the traditional nomadic way of life. In the centre is a round ‘chimney’ for a coal-fired stove, used for cooking and to stay warm in near freezing temperatures year-round. The impact of greenhouse gases is resulting in air pollution rates in urban areas of Mongolia that are 24 times higher than acceptable standards worldwide.
UNICEF is working with leading international and local scientists to develop a country-wide solution: the CHIP (cooking, heating, and insulation products) package. CHIP replaces the coal-fired stove with a fuel-efficient electric heater, air filtration system, and extra layers of windproof and waterproof insulation around the Ger. CHIP helps to reduce health risks like pneumonia and in young children and pregnant women, preventing serious effects on brain and lung development.
"With CHIP, we have put away our stove. It saves us time and money. We no longer need to buy coal. I’m grateful that my younger son is now growing up in a better environment."
households across Mongolia have solved air quality challenges using CHIP in 2023.
local kindergartens in Mongolia have solved their heating and air quality challenges by using CHIP in 2023.
In Yemen solar farms are transforming lives
Amidst one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, Yemen is also one of the most water-scarce nations due to the impacts of climate change. With a large portion of Yemen’s population living in poverty, families do not have enough money to pay for the fuel necessary to transport clean drinking water to their rural districts. These conditions are putting children at a higher risk of malnutrition, cholera and death from common infections, as well as affecting access to nutritious food.
But UNICEF is working to change that. Local engineer Mohammad who lives in Dhamer, Yemen is excited about the ongoing benefits of a unique UNICEF-supported climate solution that is transforming lives and already secured clean water for 137,000 people including schools, health centres and communities.
The farm takes existing water pumping systems and solarises them to produce enough energy on a regular basis to run the pumps needed to access safe and clean water for entire communities. This renewable resource requires a high up-front cost, but it provides a continuous, adaptable and reliable energy source, building climate resilient infrastructure in the community.
"The benefits are universal. It’s a public service that benefits everyone."
Thanks to the support of people like you, UNICEF has implemented 150 solar powered water projects across Yemen, reaching 2.5 million people this year alone.
The climate crisis is a child rights crisis
UNICEF is working with our supporters to build sustainable futures for every child. Ensuring that our children inherit a liveable planet is just as essential as providing emergency relief during times of disasters.
Stay up-to-date on UNICEF's work in Australia and around the world
25 Feb 2024
Three ways climate change is changing childhood in Australia
From mental health to education, a new UNICEF report discovers how climate change is impacting children in Australia.
6 Feb 2024
Syria and Türkiye earthquakes: one year on
A year after the devastating earthquakes on 6 February 2023, the incredible support of people like you continues to change children’s lives.
18 Jan 2024
Stories of hope: five incredible things UNICEF delivered for children in 2023
UNICEF is there for every child, before, during and after emergencies – no matter what.
21 Dec 2023
The most dangerous place in the world to be a child
Growing up should be a time of hope, not horror. But right now, millions of children continue to live in a world hostile to their rights. In Gaza, children are in danger not only from attacks from the sky, but from disease on the ground, and death from hunger and thirst. Nowhere is safe.
17 Dec 2023
What really happens at COP?
We spoke to UNICEF Australia Young Ambassadors Luke and Peta about how young people are making their voices heard at the world’s largest climate summit.
6 Dec 2023
Three ways we're taking climate action for children in Australia
Climate change continues to threaten childhoods, all over the world, including our own backyard in Australia. Discover how UNICEF Australia is working to change this.
15 Nov 2023
Childhood homes lost in a changing climate
Through no fault of their own, children and their families are being forced to leave the familiarity of their homes in search of food, water, and security.
20 Sept 2023
This is what climate change looks like around the world
Over one billion children around the world are at extremely high risk of the impacts of climate change. That is nearly half of the world's children. And it is happening today.
27 May 2023
Busted. Eight myths about periods
What happens when you get your period? For many girls it depends largely on where they live.
5 Apr 2023
Cholera: from symptoms to solutions
A snapshot of UNIEF’s response to the growing cholera endemic.
29 Mar 2023
From little things, big things grow
Meet sixteen-year-old Panha, protecting the environment for the next generation.