Climate Change Risks and Resilience in Urban Children – Save the Children’s Research funded by IIED

Climate change is a key challenge facing children all over the world, making child rights difficult to enjoy by children and safeguard by adults, society and governments. Research now shows that climate change significantly impacts children’s right to life, survival and development. However, in the urban context, there is little research looking specifically at the vulnerabilities of children to climate change impacts. City case studies carried out by Save the Children in Asia seeks to better understand the risks faced by vulnerable children in urban areas, and how climate change may exacerbate these.


No doubt children’s still evolving development makes them physiologically and metabolically less able than adults to cope with high exposure to hazards. The IPCC estimates that at least 175 million children will be affected by disasters annually by 2015. WHO estimates that more than 85% of the global disease burden due to climate change occurs in children under 5. According to The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) report Climate Change: Impact on Agriculture and Costs of Adaptation forecasts that by 2050 rice prices will increase between 32 and 37% as a result of climate change. The report shows that yield losses in rice could be between 10 and 15%. Declining maize and wheat production since the 1980s due to climate change are believed to contribute to a projected additional 25 million malnourished children globally by 2050. Climate change also poses increasing risks to education as climate-related shocks result in more girls being taken out of school than boys, boys dropping out of schools for securing paid work and for other reasons thus undermining efforts toward universal education.

“Our house is located near the canal. Every year our house floods during the rainy season. Because of this I failed to go to school for a week. I was also not able to do the homework for English which was hard for me while staying at home. When I attended school after a week, my teacher did not care about my situation. Instead I was beaten mercilessly. I suffered from fever immediately after the incident. My parents tried very hard to send me back to school but I did not go back to school since the teacher had beaten me for no fault of mine.”, Said, a 13-year-old boy from Khulna, Bangladesh who dropped out of school at 11 and now works long hours in a restaurant.

Climate change presents particularly strong challenges to children in the Global South, who are already at a disadvantage due to poverty, migration, rapid urbanization, inequitable and poor access to infrastructure, education, health and other protective services. More than 700 million children below the age of 15 (often comprising as much as 40% of the population or more) live in the 20 countries deemed at “extreme risk” from climate change (mainly in the belt around and immediately north of the equator). These represent some of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world. Included in this group are many Asian countries with some of the largest and most populated cities in the world, located on the floodplains of major rivers and typhoon prone coastal areas which make them susceptible to significant impacts of climate change both now and into the future. A large proportion of the population in Asian countries and indeed in Asian cities are infants, children and adolescents who arguably represent one of the most vulnerable categories subjected to a spectrum of risks from climate change in cities. Yet few urban adaptation and resilience building programmes in Asia focus on children. 

Knowledge Gap

While understanding of the impacts of climate change is advancing rapidly across the globe, most studies focus on the vulnerabilities and experiences of adults. Few studies that did focus on children did so to understand vulnerabilities at the country level. The challenges facing children in urban areas differ significantly to those faced by rural children (though there are many overlaps) and undoubtedly children living in urban poverty are more vulnerable to climate related shocks and stresses due to the inherent vulnerabilities of their living environments.

Research on child-centred adaptation in urban communities is virtually non-existent. Given the dearth of research on these issues, it is unclear whether urban programs run by Save the Children and other child-focused organisations are systematically building children’s resilience to the specific challenges climate change will bring to their lives. Specific research into the kinds of additional challenges climatic change will bring to the lives of poor children in urban communities is urgently required to enable child-focused organisations to integrate building climate change resilience into sector-based activities in their urban programming.

Research Objectives

In order to address these research gaps and provide a framework of child-centred adaptation measures to Country Offices, Save the Children, with funding support from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) (via the Rockefeller Foundation-supported Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network), commissioned a multi-city study to understand the risks climate change poses to the development of urban children in three Asian countries Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The cities chosen for this study are secondary cities with less than 1 million inhabitants (complementing the Asian megacities study by PLAN-IIED) and include Khulna in Bangladesh, Da Nang in Vietnam and Manolos in the Philippines.   

Sharing Workshop

Save the Children International (SCI) is organizing an international workshop on September 23, 2014 in Hanoi, Vietnam, to present the research result of SC in Climate Change Risk and Resilience in Urban Children in Vietnam, Bangladesh & Philippines. An important goal of the workshop is to receive feedback from other organizations and discuss the implications of children’s vulnerability and adaptation activities to climate change in urban environments

Sữa mẹ – món quà vô giá cho cuộc sống

Save the Children continues providing supports to Wutip affected families in Quang Binh under ECHO funded project

In July and Aug 2014, Save the Children has been providing construction materials for 210 poor families who were severely affected by the Wutip typhoon last September in the central province of Quang Binh, Vietnam to help the affected people to repair and refurbished their houses.

This activity is under shelter component of the project funded by ECHO which aims to provide adequate housing that are disaster resistant and culturally appropriate.

The beneficiaries (householders) were encouraged to involve in every process of the shelter repair, including: initial assessment of house condition and agree on repairing solution; the trainings for beneficiaries in which they were provided with basic knowledge and skills in monitoring their house repair; the repair monitoring: there is a “community based monitoring team” at hamlet level composed of 1 householder representative, 1 hamlet leader and 1 Commune Red Cross staff, this CBM team will monitor all repairing process of houses supported by the project in their hamlet.

Side by side with the trainings for householders, the project provided special trainings for local builders on how to strengthen and repair the house. The trainings focused on requirements of disaster resistant house, the compliance of housing repair safety code. The trainees were also taken part in practice exercises.

The benefited households were also equipped with a shared shelter repair toolkit which consists of most necessary tools. The toolkit will be located at hamlet level and to be used for small repairs and preparation before typhoon seasons.

Under Livelihood component, at the end of July 2014, the project has provided chilly seeds for 209 poor & near poor household in Lam Trach Commune, Bo Trach district. Chilly has become an alternative crop for the people in Lam Trach as they are living in a midland area and recent years, they are facing with drought in summer and other crops (ground nuts, maize, bean…) were reported lean harvest and low income.

In August and September 2014, Save the Children will continue providing construction materials, rain water harvesting system and water filter devices and water containers for 320 households in the same communities.IMG_5322

2014 Breastfeeding Week starts up

The 2014 Breastfeeding Week in Vietnam will be kicked off  with the show of more than 100 pictures capturing moments of mothers breastfeeding through the country.

The exhibition is co -organised by Alive &Thrive Programme – Save the Children consortium.

The photos were taken by professional and amateur photographers from every walks of life from the mountainous villages, streets of big cities, rural communities and communal centres.

The pictures will be displayed in six locations in Hanoi from 1st to 8th August. A&T - e invitation - Engbandroll_2cayBreastfeeding-Infographic--A&T--v3to roi2conver

An energetic woman stepping out of poverty

Leu Thi Hanh and her husband earned their living from a small grocery at the end of Thoi Thuan B Village in Thoi Lai District, Can Tho Province.


Living remote from the village’s crowd, the 44-year-old Khmer woman have to rent the space at VND250,000 (US$13) to run her shop. With limited investment, Hanh only made about VND50,000 ($2.6) a day and would struggle to make ends meet. The biggest difficulty she met is the shortage of capital to purchase enough products for sale, making her to take many trips to the suppliers when having excessive customer demands.

Hanh was introduced to the Save the Children Golden Hands programme in 2012 through the local Women Union. The programme funded by Chevron aims to support poor women to improve their income through small loans and economic training.

Hanh was eligible for the first loan of 3,122,000 VND (US$ 150) for a period of 18 months from the Golden Hands to expand her shop with more ranges of products to sell. Her shop looked more attractive and the number of customers has been increasing, bringing about more profits. When she had a decent number of royal customers, Hanh decided to open the shop at her house.

Lieu Thi Hanh

With credible payment records, Hanh was then allowed for the second loan of VND5,625,000 ($ 268) to expand her business. She started to sell baguettes for local people for extra income. Now with two sources of income, Hanh and her husband’s living condition has been much improved. “Totally, we can earn about VND8 million a month, almost five times of the profit from my corner shop”, she said.

“Before having access to Golden Hands loans, I would struggle to invest in goods for sale, the business is much better now. I can sell up to VND1,500,000 ($ 72) worth of goods items a day. During public events such as Lunar New Year (Tết), the turnover is much more”, she said.

“Many suppliers now agree to provide their products at my house so I don’t need to travel”, she said.

Every day Hanh started her baguette business at 4am to serve early breakfast customers. She has just bought a new television and gas cookers for their convenience.

“I would like to continue to have more loans to expand my business. However, I would like to complete the current payment first”, she said.


Swimming lessons for flood affected children

By Khong Thi Tam An, Project Assistant

Dong Thap (5)[1]

Le Thi Thanh Thanh was watching her nine-year-old daughter girl, Nguyen Thi Phuong Anh ready for her first jump into the pool. Around the girl, a dozen of children were cheering her up to abide their turns.

 “A couple of years ago, I registered my daughter for a swimming class organized by the local community on the river. Then, I thought it was not safe for her so that I pulled her out”, she said.

 Thanh’s daughter is among thousands young children to grow up in flood affected communities in Dong Thap Province by the Mekong River Delta. The frequency of flood has been increasing in the recent years, therefore, the children has become more accustomed of going to school by boats.

 With funding from Prudential Foundation, Save the Children supports the construction of swimming pools in schools and provides swimming lessons for the vulnerable children.

It is a part of the organisation’s disaster risk reduction programme in two flood prone provinces of Dong Thap and Tien Giang. The programme aims to support the local children and their communities to better prepare for flood and extreme weather through disaster risk reduction trainings and provision of life-saving items.

 “I’d like to recommend the swimming lesson at the school’s swimming pool to other parents because it is safer. We are living in a flood-prone area so swimming lessons for the children are crucial”. Thanh said.


Notice of Office Relocation (Thông báo chuyển văn phòng )

We are pleased to inform you that our representative office will be relocated to Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Hanoi with effect from 1st July 2014. Please refer to following address for future correspondence.

Address: 4th Floor, Machinco Building, 444 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi.

Our telephone, facsimile numbers and email addresses will remain unchanged.

We plan to be fully operational during the days of moving, but please accept our apology if there are some delays in our communication. This is particularly relevant for the 30th June as this will be our first day in the new office location.

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to your continued collaboration and support.

 Thông báo chuyển văn phòng

Chúng tôi xin trân trọng thông báo kể từ ngày mồng 1 tháng 7 năm 2014, trụ sở chính của Tổ chức Cứu trợ Trẻ em sẽ chuyển về phố Hoàng Hoa Thám. Xin vui lòng liên lạc với chúng tôi theo địa chỉ sau đây:

Địa chỉ: Tầng 4, tòa nhà Machinco, số 444 Hoàng Hoa Thám quận Tây Hồ, Hà Nội.

Số điện thoại, số máy fax và địa chỉ email của chúng tôi không thay đổi.

Trong thời gian chuyển văn phòng, đặc biệt là ngày 30 tháng 6 và ngày mồng 1 tháng 7, có thể có sự chậm chễ trong việc liên lạc với bên ngoài, mong quí vị thông cảm.

Xin cám ơn và mong muốn tiếp tục được hợp tác với các quí vị.

Grow for future

By Le Thanh Ngan

Save the Children supported 10 schools to organise a ‘Tree Planting Festival’ in Tien Giang Province to increase the children’s awareness of environmental protection and climate change adaptation.


Nearly 300 children aged from 9 to 15 participated in the festival by the end of May where they were provided with eucalyptus seedlings and trained on how to grow by Save the Children staff and the school teachers.

The children also presented messages to highlight the importance of green environment and what communities should do to adapt to climate variability.


“I am happy to join this event and want to do something for the environment. In the future I hope that all the trees will grow well even with the hot and harsh weather”, said a student of Thai Nam School, Nguyen Van Toan.

The activity is part of Save the Children’s community based climate change adaptation programme which has been implemented in the flood-prone province of Tien Giang.

The programme is to support children and their communities to plan and manage the impacts of climate variability and to increase the government’s body’s responsibility in meeting the needs of vulnerable children and communities.

Save the Children supports book exchanges by children to protect environment

Save the Children supported two schools in Quang Nam Province to organise a book exchange day to educate the children to practise thrift and protect the environment last weekend.


 The event titled ‘Economising, Reusing and Recycling to Adapt to Climate Change’ attracted nearly 200 children from Le Quy Don secondary school and Duy Tan primary school and community members in the neighborhoods to attend and donate books.

 The event is part of Save the Children project ‘Community Based Climate Change Adaptation’ which aims to increase the understanding of climate change impact and to enhance environmental protection through training and campaigns for children and communities in vulnerable locations.Save the Children established children volunteer group in the schools to promote its campaign and improve awareness among children.

 At the weekend event, the children had opportunities to take part in performance and games by the volunteer group.

“I found this event is meaningful and helpful for poor students like me”, Nguyen Van Duong, the 7th grade student of Le Quy Don school who just exchanged his old books for a series of 8th grade books that he need for his next school year.

 “This event is also a good example of environmental protection activities. We save energy, production cost and material”.


 “I am glad that my son was able to exchange for a desirable books of 6th grade. Coming today, I am aware that this activity supports the greenery of environment by reducing the use of wood for pulp production,” said a mother of 5th grade student Tran Huu Hung.


Save the Children’s micro finance programme helps poor women improve their income

By Bui Thanh Thuy

Thirty year old mother Khuc Hong Nhiem was bustly ready for next visit to her family’s field of pumpkins. She has just received an order of 20kg of pumpkin flowers from a local trader.

Nhiem said that she started to invest in growing pumpkin in an area of three cong (one cong equivalent to 1000sq.m) since late 2013. “It brings about good profit as pumpkin vegetable, pumpkin flower and pumpkin fruit itself are all edible and salable”.

Khuc Thi Nhiem.resizeJPG

“I can earn money after 25 days of sowing, from selling vegetable, flower and the fruit. Each cong brings about VND10 million in profits”, she said.

Nhiem is a beneficiary to Save the Children’s livelihoods programme Golden Hand which aims to support poor women to improve their income through small loans and economic training.

Previously, Nhiem worked as a supporter for her husband who was a driver in Can Tho city. Both of them earned only VND2,5 million a month. To make ends meet every month, Nhiem had to sell Vietnamese pancakes for locals but it wouldn’t guarantee profit every day.

“The most painful was I had to leave my children with their grandparents at home for the city to earn living in the city”, she said.


In 2013, she was introduced to Save the Children by the local women union. She was allowed to borrow money without mortgage to expand her farming.

The first loan of over three million dong,   Nhiem purchased breed of ducks and grow cabbage to feed them. Successfully, each batch of ducks earned her at least three million dong after two months.

With the money generated from duck business and by the time she was entitled to the second loan of more than five million dong, Nhiem started to grow pumpkin.

Currently, her husband is no longer working as a driver but he would rather being responsible for the farming and livestock business.

Nhiem said they were going to take more loans to invest in pigs so they would have more sources of income.

“I am grateful to the Save the Children’s loans because with them, I can do what I like, and the most importantly I can be close to my children. In addition, my husband is now also no longer working far away from us”, she said.


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