The climate change is an aggravating factor of humanitarian crises in several forms: violence and conflicts, diseases, human rights violations, gender discrimination, migration and forced displacement …
Climate change creates localized conflicts around natural resources.
Climate change leads to conflict when recurrent droughts push entire populations to temporarily migrate to more hospitable areas. Floods and droughts exacerbate tensions over natural resources such as water and fertile land. The competition for resources and the increasing food demand lead to a widening of cultivation areas. One of the consequences is the decrease of available land for nomads.
Around Lake Chad, social and economic conditions of households are already disastrous. Agro-pastoralists are moving in search of waterholes for their consumption and that of livestock. The pressure on food resources and water sources between sedentary farmers and pastoralists who move farther and farther every year regularly leads to localized violence.
Climate change multiplies the risk of health disasters.
Crises linked to climate change directly impact vulnerable populations health condition. Populations already facing such effects are found in developing countries, island states, arid or mountainous areas, coastal areas often densely populated. Cyclones, tsunamis, floods and droughts combined with economic insecurity can lead to severe food insecurity and water contamination. These catastrophes threaten water and sanitation infrastructure systems. They have direct consequences on hygiene and access to water, especially in urban areas.
At current rates, climate change will have devastating consequences on the availability and quality of water resources. Changes in temperature, rainfall and humidity influence the prevalence of vector-borne diseases.
WHO estimates that nearly 2 billion people will be exposed to dengue by 2080 and expects 250,000 additional deaths, due to the combined effects of malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and stress heat between 2030 and 2050.
Climate change is an additional burden on the most vulnerable.
The poorest households, and especially the most vulnerable groups are the most severely affected by climate change. Paradoxally, they have insignificantly contributed to greenhouse gas and are often the least prepared to adapt to such extrem weather. Within these populations, some groups are even more vulnerable. According to UNDP, women and children are fourteen times more likely than men to die during natural disasters.
In these contexts of climatic and humanitarian crises, women are the most vulnerable ones. They already represent the majority of the world’s poor population. They depend on farming and local natural resources threatened by climate change. In many parts of the world, women account for 45 to 80% of agricultural workers, they are also the ones who are in charge of feeding the family. The scarcity of water resources represent an additional workload for girls and women who are most often responsible for household water supply.
Political, economic and social barriers limit their mobility and resilience: they prevent women from participating in decision-making about their survival and livelihoods. These inequalities are reinforced in times of crisis: when a natural disaster occurs, women have more difficulties protecting themselves and fleeing because they are not prepared or trained.
The most vulnerable people livelihoods and human rights are directly at risk.
By 2080, if no serious action is taken, 200 million people will suffer from undernutrition, directly related to land and environment degradation.