The Burden of Climate Change on Children: Addressing climate-related inequities in child health

May 4, 2022 - May 4, 2022

The Child Health Task Force hosted a panel discussion on how to accelerate action for children at risk of dying from climate-related health conditions.

Growing evidence shows that children under 19 are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing. Last year, the Lancet published a review of the direct and indirect effects of the current climate crises on child health, and UNICEF launched the Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), analyzing children’s exposure to climate and environmental hazards as well as their vulnerability due to social, economic, and geographic risk factors. 

The panel brought together representatives from the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Ministry of Health Madagascar, and USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities’ India team (JSI-led) to discuss this critical issue. Presenters spoke to the global evidence and framing of the problem; then, they shared lessons on how to mitigate and address the problem from a project implementation and government perspective. A moderated panel along with questions from the audience followed the presentations. Participants had the opportunity in the last half hour to discuss four different topics in breakout rooms and suggest actions to address each under the Child Health Task Force. The topics were: climate-related risk factors for the major killers of children under-five; climate risks for children in humanitarian settings and emergencies; climate-related malnutrition and food insecurity; and equity and human rights for children facing climate risks.


  • Alsa Bakhtawar, Consultant, USAID Building Healthy Cities project, JSI
  • Dr Maria Neira, Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization
  • Dr Norohasina Rakotoarison, Head of the Health and Environment Department, Ministry of Public Health, Madagascar
  • Regina Bures, Senior Program Director, Population Dynamics Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health