Why the world needs to face the truth about global climate disasters
Cyclone Idai tore through southern Africa hitting Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, two weeks ago – but the countries are just starting to begin the recovery process.
The death toll continues to rise, and nearly 2.5 million people feel the effects of the cyclone and subsequent flooding; almost half of these are children.
The bleak outlook following Cyclone Idai has forced us to face an uncomfortable reality: climate change is affecting the poorest in our world.
“Cyclone Idai shows how the effects of climate change disproportionately impact those in the poorest and most vulnerable countries around the world,” Shaughn McArthur, policy and influence lead for Care Canada told Context.
“Those are the places where people have the least amount of resources to adapt and recover from these types of crises,” adds McArthur.
Yet many people are skeptical of climate change and how our actions, even here in Canada, impact people on the other side of the world.
Climate biologist Elizabeth Wolkovich of the University of British Columbia told Context, “we all share one climate; and that means that countries can contribute to climate change at different rates. Countries like the United States, China, and Canada as well, have all contributed a lot of the greenhouse gases; and consequences of those gases going into the atmosphere are shared by everybody in the system.”
But too often we feel fatigued to help the most vulnerable – that our donations won’t have any effect on the deep problems affecting people in the poorest parts of our world.
World Vision is just one of the organizations on the ground in this crisis zones. Shelby Stapleton says, “we should feel a responsibility to help the vulnerable people of Mozambique – there are many causes to natural disasters, and many reasons why poverty continues to exist in these parts of the world, and it’s not the fault of the people living in these difficult places. I feel like it’s our duty as people who are more privileged to support the vulnerable.”
The humanitarian crisis from Cyclone Idai won’t be the last tragedy that follows a natural disaster. But we can play a role in helping the most vulnerable in their time of need.
For more information on how to help the victims of Cyclone Idai:
World Vision – Cyclone Idai relief
Samaritan’s Purse – Cyclone Idai relief