Prioritise, include children in disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation: NGO
Child rights body Save the Children has called for prioritising and including children in disaster risk reduction and including child sensitivity to further strengthen programmes and policy frameworks. In a statement, the child rights NGO underlined some of the focus areas that need to be prioritized as identified by children themselves.
It called for ensuring that schools remain safe so that education is not interrupted, making child protection a priority before, during and after a disaster, making community infrastructure safe, and relief and reconstruction must help reduce future risk. "Save the Children reiterates for a stronger commitment from governments, donors and agencies to provide appropriate platforms and meaningful engagement for children in programmes related to resilience and climate change adaptations. Further, to strengthen programmes and policy frameworks by bringing child sensitivity into them," it said.
With 68 per cent of India's land prone to drought, 60 per cent to earthquakes, 12 per cent to floods and 8 per cent to cyclones, India is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, affecting overall 85 per cent of Indian land and more than 50 million people, according to the statement. "We are witnessing an unprecedented time as a lived collective experience. Our resilience as individuals, organisations, communities and most importantly of children are being challenged continuously demanding new solutions and creative thinking," Bidisha Pillai, the CEO of Save the Children, said. "In the ongoing situation of extreme disaster, as we approach development, climate and disaster risk and preparedness, response and recovery and resilience as a continuum, it is important that we rethink what children think and want for a secure future," she said. The perspectives of children within the field of climate change adaptation have remained largely under-represented and children's needs, voices and capacities can and should be integrated across adaptation efforts as this leads to the establishment of longer-term and more robust community and institutional frameworks, Pillai said.
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