Climate Change Climate Crisis Food emergency Food Resiliency Hunger Natural Disasters Uncategorized War


The time for a dedicated stream of humanitarian funding to respond to climate driven natural disasters is now.

The head of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that “famine was at the door” and was likely to occur in south-central Somalia between October and December this year. “The drought, the worst in four decades, driven by climate change, is forecast to continue.

drought in Somalia
Drought in the Horn of Africa is forcing millions from their homes.

Consecutive years of below-average rainfall in the Horn of Africa have created one of the worst climate-related emergencies of the past 40 years. The protracted drought is forcing families to leave their homes in search of food and water, putting their health, safety and education at risk. The drought has killed millions of livestock, destroyed crops and is giving people no choice but to migrate to find help.

dead cattle from drought
Millions of livestock have died and crops have failed. This is the wealth of the people, have died leaving them with nothing.

More than 1 million people in Somalia are homeless from the worst drought in decades. The drought is also causing starvation in Ethiopia, Dijibuti and Kenya.

mass migrations in Horn of Africa due to worst drought in 4 decades and it is set to get worse.
Mass migrations in Horn of Africa due to worst drought in 4 decades and it is set to get worse.

The World Food Programme has said 22 million people: as many people as live in the 7 largest cities in America: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and San Antonio; are at risk of starvation.

But funds are slow in coming, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine among other crises drawing attention and money from the disaster in the Horn. Russia’s invasion also sent global food and fuel prices soaring, making aid delivery more expensive.

refugees from Ukraine
Russia’s war on Ukraine has caused millions of refugees.

And now another natural disaster has struck Pakistan where monsoons 600 times as intense as normal flooded one third of the country. Humanitarian response was slow to materialize, with western media not even reporting it was happening until the magnitude of the crisis forced them to. The flooding in Pakistan has as of now killed 1300 and devastated one third of the country. It finally made western headlines and is attracting aid that is needed to respond to this historic disaster.

flooding in Pakistan
One third of Pakistan is devastated due to flooding. It is reported that the monsoons were 600 times the normal amount of rain.

While it is good that Pakistan is starting to get the aid and attention it deserves, that funding might have gone to the drought in the horn of Africa. But the drought is old news… Funding requests have raised only a small percentage of the aid needed to address this crisis.

Natural disasters used to come at a slow enough pace so when they happened, humanitarian organizations used to be able to raise funds and deploy the resources needed to respond to the crisis. Climate change now makes one disaster overlap with another. Humanitarian organizations are overwhelmed and donors have empathy fatigue. People in need are left to fend for themselves or die!

There needs to be a permanent stream of humanitarian funding from the major greenhouse gas contributors, so money available when needed and humanitarian organizations can respond to disasters when they happen with the resources that they need, no matter whether the disaster is in Europe, the Americas, Asia or Africa.


Climate Change Food Resiliency Natural Disasters Uncategorized War

Like Lemmings, Humanity is Ignoring the Perils of Climate Change and Hunger, and Is Headed Off a Cliff

The latest Climate Report from the IPCC, confirms that climate change is and will increasingly cause food supply shocks.  Harvests are predicted to fail simultaneously in multiple major food-producing countries. Such shocks will lead to shortages and price spikes. Climate change is a “threat multiplier,” making hunger emergencies worse. In some cases, it will be the primary cause. Food productivity is already down 21%.

Climate change does not act in isolation, it compounds food shortages from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and makes risks increasingly complex and difficult to manage. Climate change is affecting agricultural productivity in many different ways. Climate change causes increases in mean and extreme temperatures, alters rain and snow amounts, changes the intensity and timing monsoons and storms .

Elevated CO2 concentrations cause uneven increases in temperatures worldwide. Fluctuating wind and jet stream patterns can bring arctic air south and tropical moist air into the arctic.

It is predicted that the world’s population will hit 10 billion people in 2050. It is also predicted that by 2050, we will have hotter temperatures, increased flooding, disruptions in rainy seasons, sea level rise, reduced access to freshwater, all of which will make feeding them more challenging.

The IPCC report demonstrates that if we surpass 1.5°C of warming in the next two decades, even temporarily will result in irreversible impacts to crop, animal and seafood production. Every inhabited region of the world will experience the effects of climate change on food.

Over 40 percent of the global population, already lives in places that are going to be devastated by climate impacts. Despite contributing the least to the problem, they face with the worst impacts and have little or no adaptation funding.

Insufficient rainfall since late 2020 has come as a fatal blow to populations already suffering from a locust invasion between 2019 and 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic. A drought is engulfing the Horn of Africa. (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP) (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

We laugh at the thought of lemmings running off cliffs into the sea. But humanity has all of the knowledge we need to know that we need to act immediately to build resiliency into our food production and distribution. And rather than taking action, the majority of people are continuing like zombies toward the cliff. We need to mobilize the resources necessary to prepare to the crisis we know is just around the corner.

We have to anticipate crop failures and encourage more production on moderate and low yield areas, so if, using an example from this year, floods reduce the wheat harvest in China at the same time that Russia and Ukraine go to war and potentially reduce global wheat supplies by 30%, there are alternate sources of food. We can do it. We need to stop being polite and demand action. Millions of people are at peril if these preparations are not made.