Extreme weather conditions almost always produce more hunger.
(Copyright: WFP/Sven Torfinn)
World leaders are currently meeting in Copenhagen in a bid to work out a new UN pact to address climate change. It’s an issue WFP understands only too well thanks to decades spent fighting climate-related hunger.
ROME -- For more than 40 years, WFP has been helping people whose lives depend on the vagaries of the weather. For these people, the accelerated changes in climate in recent decades have spelt misery, loss and hunger. Example? see this photo gallery
World Humanitarian Day
WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran explained the impact of weather-related hunger in central Copenhagen on Tuesday at the opening of "Humanitarian Day" at the UN Climate Change Conference. Watch video
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The number of natural disasters in the world has doubled since the mid-1990s and WFP -- the UN agency that responds first when these disasters strike -- has seen its work intensify. In this sense, we see the human face of climate change every day. Climate is a key element in hunger emergencies such as the one in the Horn of Africa.
WFP brings food assistance when weather and climate create emergencies. But that’s not all. We also help vulnerable people to adapt and prepare. This is crucial because, amidst an increasingly unpredictable climate, many people's access to food is at risk.
Here are three examples of how we help:
Working with the Ethiopian government, WFP showed poor farmer Mulualem Tegegn how to exploit every drop of rain that falls on his land in the parched Amhara highlands. Thanks to the MERET project, he and his family are now self reliant for food. Learn more
A WFP-supported project in Haiti is giving people food as an incentive for them to build gullies and walls on the bare hillsides around Gonaives. This should lessen the amount of rain water that floods into the city when the storm season comes. Learn more
It’s hard for poor people to build livelihoods that will allow them to escape hunger if their houses keep getting washed away by floods. Julekha, a poor Bangladeshi woman, has finally raised her house out of the reach of floodwaters thanks to a course run by the government and WFP. Learn more