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Facts About the Environment

Learn the facts on the environment in developing countries and how it affects children and their families.

•  More than 3 million children under age 5 die each year from diseases because of environment-related causes and conditions.



•  Each year, acute respiratory infections kill approximately 2 million children under age 5.  Worldwide, 60% of acute respiratory infections are die to environmental conditions.



•  Diarrheal diseases take the lives of almost 2 million children each year.  80-90% of these diseases are related to environmental conditions, specifically contaminated water and inadequate sanitation. 



•  Nearly 1 million people die each year because of malaria.  Of these deaths, 80% are children under age 5 in sub-Saharan Africa.  Up to 90% of malaria causes are attributed to environmental factors. 



•  About 2.5 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation - roughlytwo-fifths of the world’s population.



•  About 1 million children each year are diagnosed with intestinal worms causing malnutrition due to the lack of sanitation.  Many cases go undiagnosed since mothers may think this normal and not seek medical attention.



•  More than 6 million people are blind from trachoma, a disease caused by the lack of water along with poor hygiene practices.  Studies show that an adequate water supply could reduce trachoma infections by 25%.



•  More than 200 million people live in coastal flood zones, which would be dramatically impacted by rising waters.  While some 4 billion people - 60% of the world’s population - live within 65 miles of a coast.



•  At least 1.6 billion people globally do not have electricity in their homes, and approximately 54% of people in developing countries lack access to modern forms of energy.


•  The number of people living in countries where cultivated land is critically scarce is projected to increase from 448 million in 2005 to between 559 million and 706 million in 2025.


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