Geneva, 1 November 2022 – No region in the world is spared from the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, but the communities most vulnerable to its effects are getting the least help.
New data from the world’s largest humanitarian network shows that none of the globe's 30 most vulnerable countries are among the 30 highest recipients of adaptation funding per capita.
At COP27, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will call on world leaders to cut greenhouse gas emissions and significantly scale up funding to enable the most vulnerable communities to adapt and cope with the catastrophic impacts they are already facing.
Francesco Rocca, IFRC President said:
“Our planet is in crisis and climate change is killing the most at-risk. COP27 will fail if world leaders do not support communities who are on the frontlines of climate change. Families who are losing loved ones, homes or livelihoods cannot afford to wait for vague promises or weak commitments.”
“To save lives now and in the future, we need political action and concrete changes that prioritize the communities most at risk and help them become more resilient. The climate crisis is here now, and we need to protect those worst affected.”
Science is now alarmingly clear on the humanitarian impacts of climate change. IFRC data shows that in the last 10 years, 86% of all disasters triggered by natural hazards were caused by weather and climate-related events, killing at least 410,000 people and affecting a further 1.7 billion. The 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report showed for the first time that climate change is already contributing to humanitarian crises, with an estimated 3.3-3.6 billion people living in contexts vulnerable to climate change.
Caroline Holt, Director of Disaster, Climate, and Crises at the IFRC remarked:
“Increasing adaptation funding is critical to help countries address climate change’s impacts and prepare for the future, but the new IFRC analysis demonstrates that the funding isn’t getting to places and communities who need it most. Climate adaptation funding per person averages less than 1 CHF per person in countries where vulnerability is highest.”
Somalia – where extreme droughts have brought the country to the brink of famine – was ranked highest for climate vulnerability but ranked only 64th for adaptation funding in 2020. Somalia received less than a dollar per person in climate change adaptation each year, while the Central African Republic received less than two cents.
According to Maarten Van Aalst, Director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, when communities are given the tools to prepare for and anticipate climate risks, they can prevent extreme weather events from becoming disasters. Van Aalst points out that the world must also step up efforts to tackle the losses and damages already experienced by people on the frontline of the climate crisis.
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National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies not only respond to disasters when they occur, but also play a critical role in preventing hazards such as floods and heatwaves from becoming disasters. Working at the front lines in communities before, during and after disasters, they know what is needed to respond to climate crises and help communities prevent and adapt to the rising risks of climate change. The IFRC aims to support member National Societies to reach 250 million people each year with climate adaptation and mitigation services to reduce suffering and vulnerability.
Climate Vulnerability is determined based on a combination of ND GAIN and INFORM Index analysis of long term and short-term climate vulnerability. ND-GAIN quantifies national vulnerability to climate disruptions, while also assessing a country’s readiness to leverage investment for adaptive actions. Vulnerability is calculated as a combination of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, while readiness incorporates economic, governance and social components. The INFORM index quantifies national disaster risk based on historical exposure to hazards, vulnerability and coping capacity
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