For millions of people across Africa, Asia and Latin America, climate change means more frequent and intense floods, droughts and storms, accounting each year for up to 90 percent of all climate-related disasters. These can quickly spiral into full-blown food and nutrition crises. In the last decade, almost half of the World Food Programme (WFP)’s emergency and recovery operations have been in response to climate-related disasters, at a cost of US$23 billion.
With the vast majority of the world’s hungry exposed to climate shocks, eradicating hunger requires bold efforts to improve people’s ability to prepare, respond and recover. Failing this, it has been estimated that the risk of hunger and malnutrition could increase by up to 20 percent by 2050.
To support vulnerable countries and communities, WFP provides analysis highlighting the links between food security and climate risks, as well as the present and future impact of climate change on food security and nutrition. This helps identify which communities are most at risk and informs national policy and planning, including the development of food assistance programmes that build resilience and reduce hunger. The Food Insecurity and Climate Change Vulnerability map, developed by WFP and the UK Met Office, highlights the importance of urgent action to scale up climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts for the most food insecure people.
Together with its partners, WFP encourages the integration of a variety of technologies, services and tools to better equip communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This can include diversifying livelihoods; protecting assets, incomes and crops with insurance and access to financial services; improving access to markets; and rehabilitating land. It also means working with governments to ensure these initiatives can be incorporated into national systems, including early warning, social protection and financial/insurance mechanisms.
Through its Forecast-based Financing (FbF) programme, WFP helps countries and communities develop early-warning systems to trigger anticipatory humanitarian action before extreme weather events impact vulnerable families, allowing them to take preventive action such as evacuating assets and livestock, reinforcing homesteads and buying food and other essential items.
Helping the most food insecure people and countries to reduce the impact of climate change on food security and nutrition, through initiatives such as the Food Security Climate Resilience Facility and R4 Rural Resilience, is an integral part of WFP’s contribution to implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement.