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4.5 million children could die without climate aid: report

world Updated: Sep 16, 2009 18:55 IST
H S Rao

Nearly 4.5 million more children in impoverished nations could die in 2010 if developed countries fail to deliver additional funds to them to combat climate change, a new report warned on Wednesday.

In a report titled 'Beyond Aid - Ensuring adaptation to climate change works', charity Oxfam said an additional new funding of at least USD 50 billion per year must be mobilised to help developing countries to adapt to climate changes.

The report warned that 75 million fewer children are likely to go to school and 8.6 million less people could have access to AIDS treatment if aid is diverted to the fight against climate change. It said that 4.5 million more children die in 2010 than would otherwise have been the case.

"It is precisely now that aid needs to increase, not be diverted," Oxfam International CEO Jeremy Hobbs said.

The report said the additional amount to be mobilised must be beyond aid - additional to existing Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments.

Continued development progress is the best way to address pre-existing levels of vulnerability to the risks that climate change is multiplying. But without new and additional funds for adaptation, developing country governments will be faced with an impossible trade-off between helping their populations adapt to climate change or providing them with basic services such as healthcare and education, it said.

"India is already spending nearly three times as much as adapting to climate change as it does on health," it added.