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Kid looking at landscape in yemen


Climate change and conflict: a perfect humanitarian storm

IbyIMD+ Published 5 April 2022 in Sustainability • 5 min read

Focusing efforts on helping communities to adapt and ensuring climate finance gets to conflict zones is essential, says ICRC Director-General.

A scramble for resources, like farming land and water, will worsen the humanitarian crisis in conflict-affected countries, warned the Director-General of the ICRC, as he urged more action and funding to prevent the world’s most vulnerable losing their homes due to the devastating combination of climate change and armed conflict.

“Without decisive support from the international community, what is happening now in conflict and climate-affected countries like Mali, Afghanistan and Yemen will only get worse. And similar crises will multiply in many other places,” Robert Mardini told the alumni club of Lausanne in an event held on IMD’s campus last week.

The crisis is particularly acute in the Sahel region in Africa where climate hazards have already damaged around 80% of the region’s farmlands, according to the UN, dramatically reducing food sources. Already some 29 million people in the Sahel are reported to need humanitarian assistance and protection, and the crisis is expected to worsen as the population doubles to over 190 million people by 2050.

In Mali, the Sahara Desert makes up two-thirds of the country and continues to expand, submerging villages and livelihoods. With rainfall becoming increasingly unpredictable, people are fleeing both conflict and extreme weather events like floods and droughts.

Bamako by the river
View of Bamako and the Niger River in Mali

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