Climate change threatens majority of Iraq's youth, UNICEF report reveals

The Iraqi Ministry of Health reports a concerning trend, with 20 to 25 children diagnosed with cancer every month, alongside numerous cases of diarrhea, asthma, and dehydration.
Young persons crossing  the Diyala River, a tributary of the Tigris, near Baghdad. (Photo: AP)
Young persons crossing the Diyala River, a tributary of the Tigris, near Baghdad. (Photo: AP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) - A recent report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) sheds light on the alarming impact of climate change on Iraq's young population, revealing that 60 percent of the country's inhabitants are under the age of 25 and are increasingly at risk.

Iraq, already grappling with a myriad of challenges, is now facing the dire consequences of climate change, with children bearing the brunt of its effects. As one of the five countries in the world most affected by climate change, the nation finds itself in a precarious position, exacerbated by its youthful demographic.

According to UNICEF, Iraq ranks 61st out of 163 countries globally in terms of the threats posed by climate change to its children and youth.

With a staggering 60 percent of the population under the age of 25, the majority of Iraqis are vulnerable to the detrimental impacts of environmental shifts.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health reports a concerning trend, with 20 to 25 children diagnosed with cancer every month, alongside numerous cases of diarrhea, asthma, and dehydration.

These health issues are increasingly attributed to the changing climate and its associated challenges.

Furthermore, a study conducted by the US magazine CEO Wild highlights the alarming levels of carbon dioxide emissions in Iraq.

With emissions from factories and refineries reaching unprecedented levels, each Iraqi individual is exposed to an annual average of 4.9 tons of carbon dioxide, further exacerbating the health risks posed by climate change.

As the world grapples with the urgent need to address climate change, the situation in Iraq underscores the critical importance of safeguarding the health and well-being of its youth. Urgent action is needed to mitigate the impacts of climate change and protect the future of Iraq's next generation.