On Earth Day, the global organization reaffirms commitment to addressing climate change
WASHINGTON, DC -- Mercy Corps reaffirms its commitment to addressing climate change by helping vulnerable communities all over the world strengthen their resilience against increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events.
“Every day, we see the immediate and dire impacts of climate change,” says Eliot Levine, Deputy Director of the Environment, Energy and Climate Technical Support Unit at Mercy Corps. “Extreme weather is threatening food supplies, driving people from their homes, increasing the risk of conflict and even contributing to increased maternal and child death rates.”
Mercy Corps works with communities in some of the world’s most vulnerable places to increase their climate resilience. For example, in Ethiopia, the agency is helping to make weather forecasts more relevant to farmers and herders. It’s providing nearly 8,000 Indonesians who live in flood-prone districts with early warning information. And in Mongolia, it’s developing a program that sends on-demand weather information to the mobile phones of some 30,000 herders.
No single organization can change the political, social and economic realities surrounding climate change. That’s why Mercy Corps calls on policymakers and governments at every level to work together and take immediate, effective action to support fragile communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change, including:
- Helping vulnerable communities access basic climate and weather information such as seasonal forecasts and early warning systems.
- Increasing the capacity of meteorological institutions to analyze and disseminate reliable, accurate information;
- Supporting gender equity measures to help women and girls specifically access, understand and effectively put to use the climate information they receive.
- Incorporating climate-risk strategies into development and humanitarian programs.
Finally, the United States should support the Green Climate Fund, which was developed specifically to support fragile communities around the world that are least prepared for climate change.
“Development and humanitarian organizations like ours must acknowledge that climate change is no longer a secondary consideration,” says Levine. “It dangerously amplifies existing threats, and we must empower vulnerable communities to overcome the coming challenges.”
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