Thursday, September 19, 2019

Red Cross Warning

Two million people a week need humanitarian aid today because of the climate emergency as extreme weather takes an “intolerable” toll in human suffering.

The number of people in need of interventions will double in the next three decades – from 108 million a year today to 200 million – if governments fail to act, stretching international humanitarian relief efforts to breaking point and beyond, the Red Cross has warned.

Francesco Rocca, president of the IFRC, said: “This confirms the impact that climate change is having, and will continue to have, on some of the world’s most vulnerable people. The cost of doing nothing is high, and it’s the most vulnerable who will have to pay if we don’t act. This is intolerable.” He spoke of the strain that climate-related disasters were already placing on humanitarian agencies and donors. “Globally, most humanitarian appeals are already underfunded and have been for a number of years. It doesn’t seem realistic to expect that the system will be able to accommodate such a massive increase in need,” he said. “Something needs to change.”

Rocca said: “There is a chance to do something. By investing in climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction, including through efforts to improve early warning and anticipatory humanitarian action, the world can avoid a future marked by escalating suffering and ballooning humanitarian response costs. But we have to act now.”

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