Climate Change and Food Insecurity
Climate change and food insecurity are intimately linked. The extreme weather events that dominated the news the last few months helped make this point clear. Hurricanes slammed into Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia and Florida. Monsoons drenched Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Japan. Meanwhile, the Horn of Africa, much of Europe, and the American southwest are suffering from prolonged droughts and intense heat waves.
The Climate Change and Food Insecurity Linkage
In nearly all of these cases, experts say that climate change made events worse. And the more intense the weather events, the more disruption there is to food delivery systems.
Intense storms and heat waves close to home rightly garner lots of attention. But the incidents in the developing world are causing far more human misery. In the developing world, heightened food insecurity and outright famine are the most heart-wrenching of these disasters’ impacts. FINCA is working hard to provide short- and long-term solutions to the threat posed by climate change and food insecurity.
Monsoons in Pakistan
Unusually heavy monsoon rains from mid-June to September resulted in flash floods and standing water across Pakistan. In August, the country’s two southern provinces received 7 and 8 times their usual monthly rainfall.
The deluge destroyed 800,000 houses and damaged another 1.2 million houses. The death toll stands at 1,600. With large parts of the country likely to be underwater for months, diarrhea, typhoid and malaria are a growing concern. Meanwhile, the inundation destroyed 80% of the rice crop in the southern lowlands. Nationwide, the deluge killed more than 1.1 million livestock.
Climatologists have stated that the monsoons and floods are a direct result of climate change. Researchers found that warming global temperatures intensified the 5-day maximum rainfall in the most affected provinces by 75%.
FINCA has worked in Pakistan since 2013. FINCA has 100+ branches in the country and serves more one million people. The floods directly impacted 15,000 FINCA clients, mostly in rural areas. Over 13,000 FINCA clients lost crops, land and livestock. These losses are consequential to food security. On average, FINCA clients hire 2.7 employees, and their micro-enterprises play an essential role in local food supply chains.
The FINCA Emergency Response Fund (FERF) is helping our clients in Pakistan recover and rebuild. Your donation to the FERF will enable families to meet their immediate needs of food, clean water and shelter. Please donate today.
Drought in the Horn of Africa
Below average rainfall marred the last four rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa. Scientists say that climate change intensified the drought. It has led to an extraordinary, and under-reported, food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Almost twenty million people in the region are food insecure. According to Oxfam, one person dies every 48 seconds from hunger in the region.
FINCA collaborates with partners across East Africa to try to fight climate change and improve food security. NatureLock gives buys fruit and vegetables from farmers that otherwise would go to waste. They minimize post-harvest losses, reduce carbon emissions, and create a shelf-stable and vitamin rich stew. Meanwhile, one of FINCA’s new partners, Chanzi, combats waste and carbon emissions using black soldier fly larvae to turn food waste into protein for animal feed.
With support from donors, FINCA and its partners will help ease the human suffering caused by climate change and mitigate the threat of climate change and food insecurity.