Show solidarity with people most affected by climate change’s effects

A person walking across dried earth.
Kheira, a farmer in northern Kenya, walks across a dried-up reservoir next to her land as the region faces its driest conditions and hottest temperatures in 40 years.

For decades, global leaders and scientists have issued warning bells about climate change. Many of their calls have gone unheard, but that hasn’t stopped temperatures from warming and heatwaves, storms, floods, and droughts from occurring more frequently, often with disastrous effects for people living in poorer countries with fewer social safety nets and resources to cope.

Without urgent action, approximately 200 million people could require international humanitarian assistance for climate-related disasters by 2050, roughly doubling the number of those in need due to climate shocks today. Current estimates also predict that between 2030 and 2050, an additional 250,000 people will be killed each year by climate-driven malnutrition, malaria, heat stress, and other impacts.

Mercy Corps urges Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration to put bold solutions into action in countries most affected by climate change’s effects, including parts of the Horn of Africa that are experiencing their driest conditions and hottest temperatures in 40 years. Today, more than 14 million people across Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are facing life-threatening hunger after three failed rainy seasons and a devastating drought.

Take action: Urge your Members of Congress to make addressing the climate crisis an urgent priority and fund programs to help ensure that those most vulnerable to climate change’s effects receive the resources they need to cope, adapt, and thrive.

Here is the letter we’ll send to Congress on your behalf:

Dear Member of Congress,

As your constituent, I’m deeply concerned about the impact of the climate crisis on our world, especially in countries already experiencing its devastating impacts on water security, natural resources, hunger, displacement, and more.

In fact, what we’re witnessing today as drought ravages communities across the Horn of Africa is the direct impact of climate change. Currently, more than 14 million people in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia are facing life-threatening hunger after three failed rainy seasons. In Somalia alone, 2.9 million people have been displaced, and in the coming months, 1.4 million more will likely be forced to leave their homes in search of food and water.

This is not the Horn of Africa’s first drought, and climate change all but guarantees that it will not be its last. It’s crucial that we continue to prioritize humanitarian aid for communities most affected by the climate crisis while developing a long-term strategy for combating its effects. That’s why I’m asking you to prioritize funding to help combat climate change’s effects in communities around the world.

According to the United Nations, the world will require between $140 billion and $300 billion a year by 2030 to adapt to climate change. Yet, global climate adaptation finance only totaled $30 billion annually in 2017/2018 — just 5% of overall climate finance needs — falling well short of what is required globally.

As destabilizing climate events become more frequent, getting ahead of the climate crisis by acting now can help save lives, reduce suffering, and cut costs. It’s critically important that funding be allocated towards investments in sustainable agriculture to help reduce food insecurity, technologies for early warning and disaster prevention, and nature-based solutions to help stop storm surges in coastal communities. These preventative efforts can help stave off longer-term costs of natural disaster recovery, conflict over resources, and climate displacement, ensuring communities most affected by climate disasters can cope, adapt, and thrive as our world continues to change.

Substantially increasing commitments in climate adaptation funding are long-term investments that can help build stronger, healthier, more peaceful communities from within.

I urge you to ensure that the United States continues to respond to climate change globally and ask that, as my representative, you take action to address my concerns.

Thank you for your consideration.