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.

80%

of the world's hungry people live in disaster-prone countries

24%

of the world's productive lands are degraded

20%

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

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 of Climate Change

Square photograph of Mozambique Detailed photograph of Mozambique

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. Survivors need help to rebuild their lives and withstand future shocks.

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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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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%.

Surviving Desertification in the Sahel

The Sahel of Africa has always been an unforgiving landscape, but now families in the region are facing two growing threats at the same time: Climate change and conflict. Boko Haram’s campaign of terror has displaced thousands of people as farmers, and pastoralists clash over access to shrinking land. We take you to Niger, a country in the Sahel where families are fighting for their lives—and a better future for their children.

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More stories about climate change

Photo: AP/CARE/Josh Estey How Extreme Weather Is Pushing More People Into Hunger

The two devastating cyclones that have hit Mozambique in six weeks seem to confirm something climate scientists have been saying for a while: weather is becoming more unpredictable, and extreme events more frequent.

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Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud Rethinking Packaging, Reducing Waste

What does waste and environmental sustainability look like for the world’s largest humanitarian organization?

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Photo: WFP/Nour Hemici Blow After Blow

As Mozambique reels from the consequences of Cyclone Idai, Cyclone Kenneth hits the north of the country.

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As of today,
more than 80%
of the world’s hungry people live in countries prone to climate-related disasters.
189 million more
could be forced into hunger by a warming world, if there's no intervention.
Take action now.