Low-income countries remain at the frontline of climate change, experiencing sea-level rises, stronger cyclones, warmer days and nights, more unpredictable rains, and larger and longer heatwaves.
According to a World Bank report*, threatening effects of climate change have the power to push more than 100 million people back into poverty over the next thirteen years. ChildFund communities in some of the poorest regions of the world, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia, will be hit the hardest.
Climate events have the potential to erase decades of work and leave communities with devastating losses. Climate changes will impact agriculture the most, a key sector in the world’s poorest countries, and a major source of income, food security, and export earnings.
By 2030, it is estimated crop yield losses could mean food prices would be 12 per cent higher in Sub-Saharan Africa. This strain on family income could lead to a rise in malnutrition, and in turn, an increase in severe stunting by 23 percent.On a global level, a warming of 2-3oC could increase the rate of malaria infection by 5 percent, totaling 150 million more cases. Instances of diarrhea will increase, and water scarcity would have an effect on water quality and hygiene.
To prevent this grim outlook becoming a reality, poverty reduction and development work need to become a priority, while considering the changing climate. Government and aid need to take targeted action to help communities cope with climate shocks, such as developing early warning systems and flood protection and introducing heat-resistant crops and livestock breeds. At the same time, efforts to reduce emissions should accelerate, and be designed to protect the poor.
ChildFund works in climate shock affected communities to create long-term change. We provide knowledge and training on crop and livestock diversification, farming techniques and irrigation systems, whilst ultimately ensuring these communities have a safe and secure access to food and water.
Every day people across the globe are doing their part to curb climate change. Now, it is time for governments and businesses to join the movement by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and supporting communities adapting to the changing climate.
*Managing the impacts of climate change on poverty, World Bank Group, published 2016