Climate Change Impacts the Most Vulnerable

Climate change is a triple threat. There is clear and convincing evidence that climate change takes the greatest toll on poverty, hunger, and public health. There is both an intuitive sense and a factual basis around what is becoming a larger global problem.

The effects of climate change become more and more visible with each passing day. In recent weeks, the world has watched large portions of the Australian continent go up in flames, flooding threating the very existence of much treasured Venice, Italy, and more destruction from fires across Africa and the Brazilian rainforest. It makes common sense that if you take away something from those who have the least, they will suffer the greatest harm.

The Long-Lasting Impact in Mozambique

Planet Aid's work has seen this time and time again. In March, 2019, Mozambique was hit by Cyclone Idai, leaving a wake of destruction across the central region of this African country. Food was already scarce, diseases like cholera and malaria on the rise, and sources of income limited. In a flash, devastating weather spurred by climate change turned difficult circumstances tragic.

The words of one firsthand account in the city of Lamego are chilling. "There were many deaths in Lamego. And still, people continue to find bodies as the water recedes," beings the story from an ADPP Mozambique teacher and spouse working in collaboration with Planet Aid. "To this day, the population of Lamego has nowhere to be. The children are starving. They have no shelter. They have nothing to eat."

Real Solutions Need to be Made Quickly

Severe climate events cause those struggling the most to make desperate choices, if they even have the chance to make a choice. Take a look at those risking their lives fleeing Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador seeking opportunity further north. These refugees join the now-famous "caravans", notes the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, due to difficult socioeconomic factors made worse by weather and climate.

Organizations like Planet Aid will continue to help. Real solutions, however, need to tackle climate change as a root cause to hunger, poverty, and poor health. The solutions will require leadership from around the planet, especially from the U.S. and other nations who have so much, and take so much from the earth's resources.