HotSpots H2O, March 28: One in Four Children Will Face Water Scarcity by 2040

The Global Rundown

One in four children will live in areas of extreme water stress by 2040, according to a recent UNICEF report. A dam project along Afghanistan’s Helmand River could spark tension with bordering Iran. A Red Cross initiative provides clean water for those displaced by intercommunal fighting in the Philippines. An airstrike against the Islamic State group led to possible damage of the Tabqa dam, which could endanger those living downstream in Raqqa, Syria. Citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are in need of emergency food, water, and healthcare as violence drives thousands from their homes.

“Iran won’t let us build the dam. But we are ready to fight.” –Ali Ahmad, a police officer guarding Afghanistan’s dam project along the Helmand River. The dam could disrupt the river’s flow into neighboring Iran, which has led to tension as the project unfolds. The Guardian

By The Numbers

370,000  Number of people displaced in the south-east province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as territorial violence escalates. The United Nations is calling for urgent humanitarian aid in the form of food, water, healthcare, and shelter. UN News Centre

14  Number of sites in the Philippines’ Maguindanao province where the International Committee of the Red Cross has installed water pumps and built toilets. These sites provide clean water to those displaced by inter-village fighting. ICRC

Science, Studies, And Reports

A new UNICEF report considers the future of children and water amidst a changing climate. The report estimates that one in four children will live in areas of extreme water stress by 2040. Many of these areas, such as Nigeria and South Sudan, are already facing severe water scarcity due to conflict and drought. UNICEF

On The Radar

A US-led airstrike against the Islamic State group may have damaged the Tabqa dam in Syria. Citizens in the city of Raqqa, 25 miles downstream, have begun to flee amid concerns that the dam may collapse. BBC