As climate change intensifies across the world, humanitarian responses must urgently adapt to “cascading crises” with unprecedented consequences that put millions at risk of famine and death, a group of humanitarian and public health experts warns. Their commentary, published in The Lancet in October, illustrates how the climate emergency is a humanitarian and health crisis and an increasing threat to the human population evidenced by extreme weather events, changes in water quality and quantity and declining food security. These complex crises are hitting simultaneously — from extreme weather events to political instability, worsening poverty and inequality, epidemics and hunger; all of which compound the need for strengthened emergency management and response. The Lancet piece estimates about 274 million people worldwide are now in need of humanitarian assistance — which has increased from 235 million in 2021. Flood response by Kenya Red Cross in Siaya County. Image by John Bundi/Kenya Red Cross. According to the commentary, humanitarian needs will increase exponentially as poverty and food insecurity rise, the global supply chain and energy crises intensify, sociopolitical instability worsens, the collateral effects of COVID-19 become more apparent, and the intensity and frequency of climate-related events increase. The authors note that the increasing needs occur within a shrinking humanitarian space characterized by underfunding and high rates of violence against workers. The commentary depicts the harsh realities that many humanitarian workers face amid crises. One particular example is the humanitarian response to perennial flooding as a result of rising water levels in Lake Victoria,…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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