Have you ever thought if the amount of money for humanitarian needs is enough in this world? A new Oxfam report points out that the amount of money needed for UNhumanitarian appeals involving extreme weather such as floods and drought is now eight times higher than 20 years ago. Adding to it, Oxfam says that donors are failing to keep up with providing only one dollar for every two dollar needed.
The report “Footing the Bill” points out that average annual extreme weather-related humanitarian funding appeals för 2000-2002 were at least 1.6 billion dollar. It rose to an average 15.5 billion dollar in 2019-2021, which comes to 819 percent increase.
Oxfam says that rich countries are responsible for most of today’s climate change impacts, but they have only met an estimated 54 percent of these appeals since 2017, leaving a shortfall of up to 33 billion dollar,
The countries with the most recurring appeals against extreme weather crises include Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti Kenya, Niger Somalia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
INTENSITY OF WEATHER EVENTS
The report says that the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change is putting more pressure on an already over-stretched and underfunded humanitarian system. The costs of the destruction from storms, droughts and floods are also increasing inequality people in poorer communities and low income countries are the worst hit as they lack the systems and funding that wealthier countries have to cope with the effects. The richest one percent of people on Earth is emitting twice as much carbon pollution as the poorest half of humanity.
The UN appeals focus on the most urgent humanitarian needs, but that barely scratches the surface of the real costs in loss and damage that climate change is now wreaking on countries’ economies. The economic cost of extreme weather events in 2021 alone was estimated to be $329 billion globally, the third highest year on record. This is nearly double the total aid given by rich nations to the developing world that year.
LOW AND MIDDLE INCOME
The costs of loss and damage to low- and middle-income countries — for instance, the money needed to rebuild homes and hospitals or provide shelter, food and emergency cash transfers after a cyclone-could reach between $290 billion and $580 billion a year by 2030. This does not account for non-economic losses such as the loss of life, cultures and ways of living, and biodiversiy, the report said.
UN appeals represent just a small part of the costs of climate disasters for people who are especially vulnerable and they only reach a fraction of the people who are suffering, Oxfam’s research shows that UN appeals cover only about 474 million of the estimated 3.9 billion people in low- and middle-income countries affected by extreme weather related disasters since 2000, equivalent to one in eight people.
Oxfam Executive Director Cabriela Bucher said “human activity has created a world warmer than pre-industrial levels and we are now suffering the consequences. More alarming still, we will overshoot the 1.5°C safety threshold on current projections. The cost of climate destruction will keep rising and our failure now to cut emissions will have catastrophic consequences for humanity. We can’t Ignore the huge economic and non-economic lossos and damages that underlie this picture — the loss of life, homes, schools, jobs, culture, land, Indigenous and local knowledge, and biodiversity.”
“This is the climate chaos we have long been warning about. Many countries that are being hardest-hit by climate change are already facing cries includng contoh, to inflation, and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is leading to rapidly rising inequality, mass displacement, hunger and poverty,” said Bucher,
Humanitarian disasters affect men differently than women, who face long-standing inequalities that undermine their ability to cope Women’s rights and progress towards gender equity are threatened with every disaster. The UNDP estimates that 80 percent of people being displaced by climate change are women.
“Poor countries cannot be expected to foot the bill, and increasing aid — while helpful — is not alone the answer. Paying the cost of climate-driven loss and damages should be on the basis of responsibility — not charity. Rich countries, rich people and big corporations most responsible for causing climate change must pay for the farm they are causing,” said Bucha.
Rich and industrialized countries have contributed around 92 percent of excess historical emissions and 37 percent of current emissions. Africa’s current emissions stand at just 4 percent. Kenya, Somalia South Sudan and Ethiopia — where more than 24.4 million people now face severe levels of hunger and food insecurity — are together responsible for just 0.11 per cent of current global emissions. Rich industrialized nations have stymied loss and damage finance negotiations for years. At COP26 in Glasgow, they rejected developing countries’ calls for a new finance facility to address loss and damage and instead agreed to a three-year “Glasgow Dialogue’ to discuss future arrangements. “This just added insult to injury,” Bucher said.
Ahead of 56th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) in Germany, which includes the first ‘Glasgow Dialogue’ on loss and damage since COP26, Oxfam urged:
- Rich country governments to pledge bilateral finance to address loss and damage, in addition to existing climate finance and ODA commitments.
- All governments to agree to establish and fund a finance facility for loss and damage at COP27, with annual contributions based on responsibility for causing climate change and capacity to pay.
- All governments to agree to intake loss and damage a core element of the UNFCCC’s Gender Action Plan.