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By Nisha Labade
14 August 2023

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 

A sustainable borehole and a man with sheep in Somalia
Generations of children, families and animals in Somalia, like Abdirizak (right) benefit from the stability of climate resilient borehole water solutions.
© UNICEF/UN0719601/Ayene © UNICEF/UN0635411/Ayene

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]."

Farmer and father from Somaila

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 Emergency

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In Mongolia, innovative construction mean children can breathe clean air again

A Mongolian child living in her insulated Ger dwelling
Mongolian children and families live, learn and work in CHIP-supported ‘ger’ dwellings.
© UNICEF Mongolia/2021

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."

Seamstress and mother from Mongolia


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

Solar farms in Yemen are supplying clean water
Left: A solar farm in Yemen. Right: Mohammad talks to a local farmer on the benefits of solar power to supply clean water for drinking and agriculture in Dhamer, Yemen.
© UNICEF/UN0813233/Alsunaidar © UNICEF/UN0813210/Alsunaidar

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."

Engineer at the Dhamer solar farm 

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.  

Floods in Burundi© UNICEF/UN0436094/Prinsloo

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.