Climate Change - Humanitarian Impact
"Floods, violent storms and droughts don't have to become disasters."
- Humanitarian Implications of Climate Change, Maplecroft, CARE International, August 2008
Climate change is not just a distant future threat. It is the main driver behind rising humanitarian needs and we are seeing its impact. The number of people affected and the damages inflicted by extreme weather has been unprecedented.
People who are particularly vulnerable include those whose lives are already threatened by abject poverty, HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, inadequate housing and insecurity. Those living in disaster hot spots – such as flood plains or cyclone tracks - are exposed to repeated climatic shocks that compound their vulnerability. With the threat of extreme weather in the future, the demand for disaster response can only rise, as will the costs.
Tackling climate change needs a global and comprehensive response: curbing greenhouse gases, helping people adapt to changing weather and investing in risk reduction. But for humanitarians, there is one clear-cut challenge: to ensure an effective disaster response.