I am pleased to
share Oxfam's latest briefing:El
Nino: The case for urgent action.
Millions of poor and vulnerable people face hunger and poverty this year and next because of record global temperatures, droughts and erratic rains in 2014 and 2015, compounded by the development of possibly the most powerful El Niño on record.
The briefing calls for urgent
humanitarian response in places already in crisis due to food insecurity, such
as parts of Ethiopia. It also calls for early action in other places, where the
crisis is currently unfolding, and where there is still the opportunity for
rapid action to mitigate the worst impacts.It
stresses, in particular, the unequivocal financial case for early action.
Whilst the warnings are clear, the international response is not demonstrating the urgency required, nor is it commensurate with the scale and severity of the crisis. For example, although the dire situation in Ethiopia is well-understood, the food distribution pipeline is only funded to 3 per cent from January onwards. Elsewhere, the situation is serious and deteriorating but international support is lacking: in Honduras, Oxfam research has found crop losses of 83 per cent for maize and 87 per cent for beans; in Vanuatu, it is expected that 40 per cent of communities will now have run out of safe drinking water.
Collectively we need to ensure that we have learned the lessons from the 2011 Horn of Africa drought, and react swiftly and at scale to warning signs.