El Niño and climate change stop hunger

The strongest ever recorded El Niño in years has combined with climate change to put 60 million people at risk of hunger. Tell world leaders to release the cash urgently needed to save lives now and in the future.

People talk about the climate. Each day we talk about the drought and the things we have lost. We are expecting rain in the next 4 months, but only god knows if it will come and what our situation will be. We have been very affected by the drought. All our livestock died. We had 50 goats.” Lule Abrahn, 50, Ethiopia.

This is one of the strongest El Niños ever recorded and the scale and damage has been over-powering. Around 60 million people will be affected by El Niñoin East and Southern Africa, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016, according to the UN’s humanitarian agency. Super-charged by climate change, it’s bringing droughts, flooding and ruining harvests around the world.

In numbers:

  • In Ethiopia 10.2 million people are in an acute state of food insecurity and need international assistance.
  • Nearly 12 million more people are suffering from food insecurity elsewhere in the Horn and East Africa region, across Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and South Sudan.
  • In Southern Africa, 28 million people are food insecure – nearly half of whom live in South Africa.
  • Communities in the Central American “dry corridor” of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, especially, are facing one of the worst droughts in decades. There, an estimated 3.5 million people having serious difficulties in accessing adequate food.
  • Up to 4.7 million people in 13 Pacific countries remain at risk of drought, cyclones and erratic rainfalls.

Oxfam is working to help people around the world to cope with extreme weather patterns, droughts and crop failures. However, many are already facing extreme hardship.

At the Paris climate summit in December we asked governments to increase their financial commitments to support vulnerable countries cope in situations like this, and while they promised to do so, they failed to set strong enough targets. This food crisis shows clearly what happens when we fail to invest enough in helping communities adapt to climate change and to grow and buy enough food in a warming world.

Act now

World leaders can prevent this worsening food crisis from spiralling out of control and stop it happening again. Sign the petition and tell them to: 

  • Set quantified targets to significantly increase adaptation finance from current levels by 2020, as they committed to do at Paris, so the poorest can cope with the effects of a changing climate which has become the new normal
  • Urgently provide funding for countries facing an immediate humanitarian crisis, when they meet again on 26 April, at the United Nations in Geneva, to respond to the devastating effects of El Niño.