Of the 530 million children in the flood-prone zones, some 300 million live in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty, on less than USD 3.10 a day, media reports cited the UNICEF report yesterday.

The report pointed out that 'of those living in high drought severity areas, 50 million are in countries where more than half the population lives in poverty'. "The sheer numbers underline the urgency of acting now," UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said.

Climate change means more droughts, floods, heatwaves and other severe weather conditions. These events can cause death and devastation, and can also contribute to the increased spread of major killers of children, such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea, according to the report.

The vast majority of the children living in areas at extremely high risk of floods are in Asia, and the majority of those in areas at risk of drought are in Africa, said the report. In the upcoming 21st UN climate change conference, known as COP21, world leaders gathering in Paris from November 30 to December 11 will seek to reach agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which is critical to limiting potentially catastrophic rises in temperature.

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