News & stories
Latest news & stories
By Zohra (20) from Sudan via UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office I've got a story that needs to be heard. Imagine waking up to the realities of climate change daily. That's our life here. Imagine the heaviest rain you've ever seen. Now imagine it wreaking havoc on your home, your community. That was our June last year. 161,000 of us were affected; unfortunately, most were my fellow sisters and friends. And beyond the immediate threats like food insecurity, more lurked in the shadows, like increased malnutrition. Flooding isn't new to us, but this... it was something we hadn’t seen for decades. Over 15,000 homes were washed away. But it’s not just about bricks and mortar. For many girls, this disaster meant a pause in education, and sadly, a heightened risk of early marriages and facing violence at home. For our friends relying on farming, particularly in places like Al-Manqal, the floods hit them hard. Picture this: 2,900 acres of farmland underwater. That’s like someone swiping away your entire year's allowance! And, ugh, the power outages that followed? Let’s just say candlelit dinners lost their charm real fast. Regions like Kassala Sennar, North Darfur, South Kordofan, and the White Nile were the epicentres of this disaster. Already wrestling with past conflicts, climate change just turned up the heat on their challenges. And approximately 6,500 children don’t have a school to return to. We need to act, like, yesterday. Clean water supplies are a must to kick out water-borne diseases. And we need to get some educational supplies for the flood-hit zones. It's a race against time and every little help matters. It’s a tug-of-war between increasing conflicts, massive displacements, and an ever-growing fight for resources. Climate change is just fanning the flames. But together, we can make a difference. Let's stop this cycle before it spirals out of control.
By Tina (35) Egypt via UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office My name is Tina from Egypt, and if you're reading this, you're probably as eco-curious as I am! Let me take you on a journey from my humble abode in Upper Egypt, where the golden sands meet green fields, and stories of climate change get a little twist! Imagine a farming village with chirping birds and vast green stretches. That's my home. Everyone I know is deep into agriculture. We don’t just live here; we vibe with nature! But, and here's the big BUT – most people are in the dark about climate change. The delicate dance between us and Mother Earth? It's missing a few steps. A few of us eco-warriors decided to stir things up. Composting? Check. Recycling agricultural waste? Double-check. Organic fertilizers? Oh, you bet. We’re talking about sustainable living at its finest. The best part? 300 farmers (yes, you read that right) joined the green brigade. Our baby project even landed us in the top 10 of a national competition with 150 organizations! We wanted to do more than just catch people's attention. We wanted to change our mindsets. So, we brainstormed and launched "Us and Climate Change." The plan was to equip teachers to be climate mentors, giving them the low-down on the climate crisis so they can inspire the next gen. At our recent gallery event, we showcased not just the beauty of recycling, from chic recycled outfits to innovative school tools, but also the power of performance. The spotlight was undeniably on “Al-Barsha Panorama”, our very own theatre group. In Upper Egypt, street theatre isn't just entertainment; it's an educational tool and a heartbeat that resonates deeply with our community. Our ultimate dream? A world where we can freely drink clean water, savor healthy food and take in pure, unadulterated air. With every performance, with every piece of art we create, we're advocating for that pristine environment. And while the goal is clear – an untouched landscape with unblemished access to essentials – we're also proving that blending this mission with art, special forms that connect so deeply with our people, can be both impactful and soul-stirring. Our art is our voice against climate change, and it’s making waves in our community.
I am Mona, a Jordanian residing in the Shouneh region of southern Jordan, near the Dead Sea. I am a young climate advocate specializing in environmental justice and gender equality. I collaborate with UNICEF as a youth skills empowerment trainer. I aim to raise awareness about climate change and the gendered impacts it has on my community.
Currently, one in every five hectares of land on Earth is unusable and by 2050 only 10% of land could be healthy Businesses are failing to help protect the resources of healthy ecosystems they depend upon such as land for farming The good news is that initiatives like The Great Green Wall are proving that action can be taken now to reverse land degradation By 2050, 90 per cent of land could become degraded. How can businesses help restore the resources they depend upon? Land restoration, with a ballpark cost of $500 per hectare, is one of the most cost-effective ways to combat business risks. Restoring just 350 million hectares of degraded land could, by 2030, remove greenhouse gases roughly equal to half the world’s annual emissions from the atmosphere. Restoring land can earn an extra $1.4 trillion in agricultural production every year. Focusing on regenerative land use is an opportunity to safeguard businesses from the impacts of climate change and land degradation. Restoring ecosystems and soil biodiversity is among the most effective weapons against weather extremes. Restoring land can create employment and help a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the US, first movers have demonstrated that under certain conditions, farms with regenerative practices are an estimated 78% more profitable than those using conventional practices. Read the latest blog by the UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw for the World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/how-businesses-can-help-restore-land-resources/ Read more: The Great Green Wall initiative Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality UNCCD science-policy blog
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, one fact has never been more evident – our world, our planet and our lives are inextricably interconnected. There are very few issues that can be considered simply “health problems,” as nearly every aspect of life is connected to other societal, economic and environmental issues. While we recognize the negative impact of tobacco on our health, we tend to think less frequently about the economic impact of tobacco use on health costs and productivity losses. What is even less well known is how tremendously destructive tobacco cultivation and tobacco use is for the environment – on land, water and air.
There is growing evidence of regreening in the Sahel. It is widespread. It cuts across the entire area, and it’s dynamic. In fact, almost all of West Africa is experiencing this regreening that is considered the ultimate weapon in the fight against global warming. Sahelians also growing valuable trees that act as natural air conditioners, provide food and ertilize the land in the Sahel in ways that could be making a difference to resilience that is far better than elsewhere in the world.