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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) : Report 2021

New Report Released By The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):

According to a new report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), one in five children worldwide resides in areas of high or extremely high water vulnerability.

  • The Report was released ahead of World Water Day (22nd March).
  • The new report is part of UNICEF’s ‘Water security for all’ initiative that identifies areas where physical water scarcity risks overlap with poor water service levels.
  • The initiative aims to mobilise resources, partnerships, innovation and global response to identified hot spots.
  • UNICEF identified 37 hot-spot countries where children faced especially distressing circumstances in terms of absolute numbers, where global resources, support and urgent action had to be mobilised.
  • Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen were especially vulnerable.

Findings:

  • Children in more than 80 countries live in areas with high or extremely high water vulnerability.
  • Eastern and Southern Africa has the highest proportion of children living in such areas, with more than half of children – 58% – facing difficulty accessing sufficient water every day.
  • It is followed by West and Central Africa (31%), South Asia (25%), and the Middle East (23%).
  • More than 155 million children in South Asia lived in areas with high or even extremely high water vulnerability.

Water Crisis in India:

  • India has 4% of the world’s freshwater which has to cater to 17% of the world’s population.
  • As per NITI Aayog report released in June 2018, India is facing the worst-ever water crisis in history. Approximately 600 million people or roughly around 45% of the population in India is facing high to severe water stress.
  • The report says that nearly 40% of the population will have absolutely no access to drinking water by 2030 and 6% of India’s GDP will be lost by 2050 due to the water crisis.
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