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The total number of children in Kenya displaced within the country by climate-induced disasters increased sevenfold in 2022.

Data from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre shows at least 187,000 children in Kenya were left displaced within the country by climate shocks at the end of last year, compared to 27,000 children who were displaced by similar crises in 2021. Some of these children were displaced multiple times, while others only once, but all remained displaced from home at the end of the year, living in camps, with extended family, or other temporary arrangements.

And as policymakers converge at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi to discuss solutions to the climate crisis Save the Children says the report indicates that the number could be much higher, as these figures are only from four counties (Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, and Turkana).

“The impact of climate shocks on children is very worrying. When children lose their homes they lose almost everything: their access to healthcare, education, food, and safety. They also lose the building blocks for mental and emotional stability and wellbeing, like a sense of routine, their friends, and the right to play,” said Yvonne Arunga, Save the Children’s Country Director for Kenya and Madagascar.

Regionally, the number of new internal displacements throughout the year across sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 due to such disasters was three times higher than the previous year, with 7.4 million new displacements during 2022 compared to 2.6 million in 2021. This figure counts the times people were displaced, sometimes multiple times for one individual even if they were able to return home by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, African countries have contributed the least to the crisis, with the smallest share of global greenhouse gas emissions of all the world’s regions.

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