Climate Change, Disaster Risk and Hunger: Linking Availability, Access and Protection


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Climate Change, Disaster Risk and Hunger: Linking Availability, Access and Protection

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  • Climate change will increase the risk of hunger and malnutrition on an unprecedented scale within the next decades. Unless urgent action is taken, it will not be possible to ensure the food security of a growing world population under a changing climate. But action is required on several fronts. Increasing agricultural production is one part of the response – but not enough.
  • CC is hitting hardest those who are most vulnerable to risk and least responsible for CC
  • How is climate change going to affect availability of and access to food?   Food production and availability Increased weather- and climate related shocks and stresses are likely to significantly reduce production levels in developing countries. But increases in production in the developed countries due to positive impacts of climate change are projected to balance out production deficits on a global level. - Technically, even under climate change enough food can be produced in 2050 to feed the world. - We know that we need to significantly increase production and productivity to meet the demand of a growing population. How this can be done is one question. - But it is not the same question as how to ensure food security under climate change. For this, we need to look at how climate change is affecting access to food.
  • Production shortfalls and insufficient purchasing power will mean poor households must increasingly choose between distress sales of productive assets and disinvestment in human assets, e.g. consuming less nutritious food or removing children from school. Either choice contributes to a downward spiral of decreasing resilience and adaptive capacity.
  • All this, without considering multiplying effects resulting from interactions with other drivers of food insecurity…
  • In view of its projected impact on both availability and access, any sustainable approach to food security under climate change conditions must encompass two complementary objectives: increasing production and food availability, while enhancing access and protection for the most vulnerable people and communities from disasters. There is a clear imperative to invest on enhancing and adapting agricultural production systems. But the poorest people are usually not the target of innovation, and do not have access to the required assets, inputs, and technologies. There is a significant risk that those with the fewest assets and capacities, who often live in the most marginal and disaster prone areas and who are most exposed to the risk of hunger and food insecurity, will benefit least from availability gains.
  • - Social protection and safety nets protect lives and livelihoods, either from falling into chronic poverty or within emergency situations. Most social protection interventions serve multiple objectives. E.g., programmes like the distribution of micronutrient supplements for mothers and young children, school meals and emergency aid (cash, vouchers, food assistance) in response to disasters avoid asset depletion and enable people to invest in productive assets – and in adaptation.
  • Food assistance is provided for up to 3 months each year to enable food insecure households to participate in soil and water conservation activities designed together with the community. Communities are required to take land out of food production and prevent livestock from free-grazing, for which they are compensated with cash and food. After conservation measures have improved soil productivity and water recharge capacity, the community can begin income generating activities and intensification of land productivity.
  • As an innovative complement to the PSNP, the Government of Ethiopia, in collaboration with WFP and the World Bank, has developed an innovative risk management framework which aims at offsetting the potential for damaging weather or climate-related disasters. This includes risk transfer tool called LEAP. In case of a drought or flood, LEAP component can trigger additional financial resources from a contingency fund in the initial stages of the drought or flood – up to 4 months sooner than traditional crisis aid – based on a weather index. This temporary scale-up allows the PSNP to respond to climatic hazards in a flexible and timely manner, making it sustainable in view of increasingly frequent and unpredictable extreme weather events.
  • Climate Change, Disaster Risk and Hunger: Linking Availability, Access and Protection

    1. 1. Climate Change, Disaster Risk and Hunger: Linking Availability, Access and Protection Carlo Scaramella Climate Change and DRR Coordinator WFP [email_address]
    2. 2. OUTLINE <ul><li>Background: Hunger and food insecurity </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change as a crisis multiplier </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to the challenge: Linking Availability, Access and Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence from Ethiopia </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    3. 3. 1. BACKGROUND - HUNGER AND FOOD INSECURITY <ul><li>Over 1 billion people are hungry today, 75% living in rural areas </li></ul><ul><li>They access food by producing, purchasing, exchanging or receiving. </li></ul><ul><li>They live on less than 1 US $ a day and spend 70% of their earnings on food purchase. </li></ul><ul><li>3.5 million people, most of them children, die every year of undernutrition. </li></ul><ul><li>Climate change will significantly increase the risk of hunger and malnutrition. </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing agricultural production is one part of the response – but not enough. </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>2. CLIMATE CHANGE AS </li></ul><ul><li>CRISIS MULTIPLIER </li></ul><ul><li>more frequent, erratic and intense </li></ul><ul><li>weather-related disasters </li></ul><ul><li>deteriorating environment and land productivity </li></ul><ul><li>reduced water availability </li></ul><ul><li>deteriorating sanitation conditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increasing conflicts over scarce resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with more migration and displacement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(IPCC 200 7) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. IMPACTS ON FOOD PRODUCTION (AVAILABILITY): <ul><li>Production levels in developing countries are expected to drop significantly. </li></ul><ul><li>But: increases in production in the developed countries could balance out deficits on a global level. </li></ul><ul><li>Technically, even under climate change enough food can be produced in 2050 to feed the world. </li></ul>
    6. 6. IMPACTS ON FOOD ACCESS: <ul><li>decreasing household production levels </li></ul><ul><li>decreasing purchasing power: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>loss of income opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rising food prices (100, 50, 35% increase for wheat, maize and rice by 2050) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>asset depletion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>distress sale of assets, disinvestment in human assets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>loss of assets due to extreme weather events </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>AS A RESULT, PROJECTED HUNGER AND FOOD INSECURITY BY 2050: </li></ul><ul><li>Calorie availability in developing countries 10% lower than in 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Child malnutrition 20% higher than without climate change. </li></ul><ul><li>Number of people at risk of hunger 10 to 20% higher than without climate change. </li></ul>
    9. 9. 3. RESPONDING TO THE CHALLENGE Food security strategies and approaches to food security under climate change scenarios call for: A) increased food availability and B) improved access to food and enhanced protection from climate change & disasters
    10. 10. <ul><li>If adaptation is limited to increasing productivity, we risk missing the needs of the most vulnerable people </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge is to ensure that more food availability translates into improved access also for those who live on less than 1 US $ day, have no production enhancement potential, and/or no income </li></ul><ul><li>This includes the poorest farmers, the landless, the urban poor, and the women, children, and other vulnerable groups with insufficient means to protect themselves. </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>In this context, social protection and safety nets are critically important as they protect lives and livelihoods, and they can move poor people into productive livelihoods. </li></ul><ul><li>Social protection is defined as all initiatives that transfer income or assets to the poor, protect the vulnerable against livelihood risks, and enhance the social status and rights of the marginalized. </li></ul><ul><li>Productive safety nets which involve participation in natural resource management and community asset building, can play a particularly important role in pro-poor adaptation in food insecure communities. </li></ul>
    12. 12. 4. EVIDENCE FROM ETHIOPIA <ul><li>MERET: a successful model for community based interventions that link availability and access to food, and also increase resilience to climate change related disasters (see </li></ul><ul><li>MERET integrates elements of NRM, community development and social protection – including innovative risk transfer mechanisms – in one coherent approach. </li></ul><ul><li>About 600,000 people in 450 crisis-prone food insecure communities currently benefit from the project. </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>The programme provides access to crucial assets such as water, productive land, skills and social capital that increase resilience to weather- and climate related shocks. </li></ul><ul><li>As incomes improve, WFP phases out food assistance but continues to support additional extension activities, incentives for innovation, and training. </li></ul><ul><li>The food security of the participating households has increased by 50%, the average annual food gap was reduced from six to three months. </li></ul><ul><li>The approach and technologies developed in the MERET project have inspired Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP). </li></ul>
    14. 14. 5. CONCLUSIONS <ul><li>Climate change poses an unprecedented challenge to eradicating hunger and poverty (MDG1) </li></ul><ul><li>While enhancing food availability at local and global level is an imperative, it is only by concurrently strengthening social protection and safety nets that the protection and resilience of the most vulnerable can be ensured </li></ul><ul><li>Future policy frameworks for climate adaptation and food security shall therefore ensure a twin track approach bringing together enhancing production and expanded protection for the most vulnerable </li></ul><ul><li>These are critically important complementary aspects for any future sustainable climate adaptation strategy. </li></ul>