Climate Change
& Hunger
Image depicting Climate Change & Hunger
Photo: WFP/Micah Albert
More than 80% of the world’s hungry people live in disaster-prone countries.
Photo: WFP/Micah Albert
The Challenge of Our Time

Climate change is one of the leading global causes of hunger.
It means more frequent and intense extreme weather events that increase food insecurity and malnutrition by destroying land, livestock, crops and food supplies.

20%

Climate change could increase the risk of hunger and child malnutrition 20% by 2050

2x

Extreme weather events have more than doubled in the last 30 years

24%

Nearly a quarter of the world's farmable lands are degraded

A Vicious Cycle...

Disaster Strikes

Millions of people living in fragile, disaster-prone areas have limited resources to adapt to climate change and are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events - like floods, droughts or hurricanes - when they hit.

Source: Climate Change Infographic Photo: AP/IFRC/Denis Onyodi

Immediate Effects

Lives and livelihoods are lost as homes, land, livestock, crops and essential food supplies are destroyed.

Source: Climate Change Infographic Photo: WFP/Nour Hemici

Coping Measures

Food prices skyrocket as supplies dwindle. Parents take their children out of school, people eat less and less, and families sell any remaining valuable assets - like tools and cattle - to afford a meal.

Source: Climate Change Infographic Photo: WFP/Kabir Dhanji

Food and Nutrition Crisis

The lack of food and nutrition, which has been building up since the disaster hit, now explodes into a full-blown crisis. Families become largely dependent on humanitarian aid.

Source: Climate Change Infographic Photo: WFP/Bruno Djoyo

Long-Term Impacts

People's overall food consumption drops and their dietary diversity reduces to just a few foods. Malnourishment rises, especially among women. Rates of stunting and wasting in children increase.

Source: Climate Change Infographic Photo: WFP/Amadou Baraze

Another Disaster Strikes

Hungry and malnourished people are even less able to withstand another disaster and they suffer graver consequences each time a flood or drought strikes. Some families attempt to leave but, without resources, many have no choice but to stay.

Source: Climate Change Infographic Photo: WFP/George Fominyen

The Faces and Voices of Climate Change

Square photograph of The Dry Corridor Detailed photograph of The Dry Corridor
Photo: WFP/Miguel Vargas

The Dry Corridor

The Dry Corridor - comprised of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua - has been effected by extreme rainfall and prolonged drought that have left 1.4M people in urgent need of food assistance.

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Detailed photograph of South Sudan
Photo: WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua

South Sudan

The combined effects of civil war and drought in South Sudan have left nearly 6.5M people facing severe hunger and 2.1M women and children acutely malnourished.

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Detailed photograph of Mozambique
Photo: AP/CARE/Josh Estey

Mozambique

Mozambique was hit hard by Cyclone Idai - the third-deadliest cyclone on record in the Southern Hemisphere - and then by Cyclone Kenneth six weeks later. Homes must be rebuilt, roads need to be repaired and more than 3,000 square miles of farmland needs to be replanted.

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Helping people build resilience to extreme weather events

As the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, WFP understands the short- and long-term effects of extreme weather events and helps vulnerable communities prepare for, recover from and build resilience to them.

Photo: WFP/Saikat Mojumder
Food for Assets

Food for Assets provides food in exchange for work on community assets like bridges, dams and irrigation systems. These projects help people withstand extreme weather and have extra benefits like promoting nutrition and gender equality.

Photo: WFP/ Jonathan Eng
Land Rehabilitation

WFP helps communities restore degraded land, diversify their crops and build community gardens. One project in South Sudan increased agricultural land by 27% in just two years to the equivalent of more than 15,000 football fields.

Photo: WFP/Agron Dragaj
Innovation

WFP uses every available tool to help people withstand climate shocks: hydroponics, water saving technology, satellite imagery and landscape monitoring software. The Innovation Accelerator has launched 23 such projects in 30 countries.

Photo: WFP/Davinah Nabirye
Food Waste

In areas prone to extreme weather events, every grain counts. Farmers in Africa lose about 40% of all the food they harvest due to insects, pests and mold. WFP is changing that with silos and air-tight bags, reducing food loss from 40% to 2%.

Extreme Weather = Extreme Hunger

Witnessing an Apocalypse

On March 14, 2019, Cyclone Idai slammed into central Mozambique near the city of Beira. It was the second deadliest tropical storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. Its torrential winds and rains destroyed everything in its path and left millions of people without the food, shelter and water they needed to survive. We spoke with one aid worker who could only describe the scene as “apocalyptic.”

More stories about climate change

Photo: WFP/Gabriela Vivacqua Climate Change & Hunger: Stories From 6 African Countries

Extreme weather events are rapidly increasing hunger and malnourishment. From hurricanes and flooding to droughts and desertification, these six stories portray the very real, very human impacts of a warming world.

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Photo: WFP/Matteo Caravani 14 Facts Linking Climate, Disasters & Hunger

Disasters disproportionately affect the world's poorest people and communities, significantly increasing hunger, malnutrition and their exposure to risk. Here are 14 key facts on the link between disasters and hunger.

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Photo: WFP/Melese Awoke Why Do Floods Follow Droughts? Look to Ethiopia.

Imagine waking up to a wave of water running across your floor and hearing your six children cry out in fear. This is what happened to Agan in Ethiopia when floods washed away everything she had.

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