The United Nations agencies have said pregnant women, babies, and children face extreme health risks from climate catastrophes that warrant urgent attention.
They called on world leaders to ensure newborns and children among others are protected from the impacts of climate change.
Climate change is a major intergenerational injustice of our times. Safeguarding the health and rights of women, children, and adolescents is non-negotiable in the face of the climate crisis’’, said Rt Hon Helen Clark, PMNCH Board Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
According to a Call for Action released Friday by UN agencies ahead of the global Conference of the Partie negotiations on climate change in Dubai, they said the effect of climate events on maternal and child health have been neglected.
The Call to Action highlights seven urgent actions to address these mounting risks which include sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and action on climate finance, alongside the specific inclusion of the needs of pregnant women, babies and children within climate and disaster-related policies.
“To find climate solutions that acknowledge the distinct health needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls we must start by asking the right questions,” said Diene Keita, the Deputy Executive Director for Programmes at UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. “Global climate solutions must support – not sacrifice – gender equality.”