Rising storms – climate change effects exacerbating conflict and hunger crisis

A report released in late 2023 by the international aid agency World Vision reveals the opinions of people living in affected regions on the links between climate change, conflict, hunger and displacement.

This research uses field data from a survey of almost 3,000 people in nine countries (Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Iraq, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka) to hear from them how climate hazards are fuelling conflict, displacement and food insecurity in a wider range of contexts than commonly thought.

Some of the key findings of the report are:

  • 86 per cent of people in the nine low- and middle-income countries surveyed say climate change is a serious problem for their communities.
  • 60 per cent thought climate change was worsening conflict in their communities already, especially through water shortages, corruption and displacement.
  • 57 per cent completely agreed that climate change increased the risk of hunger and food insecurity.
  • 99per cent of respondents agreed that climate change was leading to displacement either to or from their community.

As the findings of this research make clear, the world must act. Leaders from high-income countries must fulfil the US$100 billion annual climate financing commitment to lower-income countries, and although a “loss and damage” fund has now been agreed, its size, scope and governance is yet to be determined. Donors, international non-governmental organisations and governments alike must ensure that climate action does not aggravate existing flashpoints and supports peace. And every global citizen must urgently make efforts to limit emissions so that, collectively, the world gets on track to limit climate change and meet the aspiration of limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Without ambitious action to limit global warming and help countries find conflict-sensitive adaptation strategies, we will struggle to protect children and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The global community’s current inadequate action on climate is disrupting livelihoods and education, increasing hunger and malnutrition, and raising risks of violence against children.

 (World Vision/pas)

Read more and download the report on the World Vision website

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