More than 19 million children in Bangladesh are at risk from devastating floods, cyclones and other environmental disasters linked to climate change.
More than five million of them are under the age of five.
That’s according to a new report published by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which warns the country’s flat landscape, dense population and insufficient infrastructure make it “uniquely vulnerable to the powerful and unpredictable forces that climate change is compounding”.
It notes around 12 million children live near powerful river systems which frequently burst their banks and says another 4.5 million live in coastal areas regularly struck by violent storms.
This includes nearly 500,000 Rohingya refugee children who have escaped neighbouring Myanmar where they are being persecuted for their religion.
They are not the only refugees – six million people have been forced to leave their homes and travel to Bangladeshi cities because of climate threats.
The UN stresses climate change and global warming are also creating other risks aside from floods and storms – it says many inland communities are now facing increasing levels of drought due to heatwaves.
Other dangers include rising sea levels and the “unchecked salt water intrusion” that occurs as a result, which the UN warns is of particular danger to pregnant women.