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Four Countries Caught in the Climate Crisis Right Now

Woman and Child Near Floodwaters

Ngomimadji watches the flood waters from an internally displaced persons camp in Chad. Photo courtesy of CARE Chad.

Ngomimadji watches the flood waters from an internally displaced persons camp in Chad. Photo courtesy of CARE Chad.

Since last year's United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, the world has seen hundreds of extreme weather events, from historic heat waves in Europe to drought in the Horn of Africa to another super-charged hurricane season in the United States.

The 2022 conference, known as COP27, officially begins next week in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and climate experts are warning the leaders there that if they don’t take urgent action, we may pass the point of no return.

CARE staff around the world have seen first-hand that the communities contributing the least to the root causes of the crisis continue to bear the brunt of its impacts.

In Somalia, which has contributed less than 1% of historic global greenhouse gas emissions, unprecedented drought has displaced more than 1 million people in search of food and water, while in Pakistan, which has contributed roughly .03% of global emissions since 1750, floods have left wide swaths of the country under water and more than 1700 people dead.

Many of the leaders of G20 countries and corporations responsible for the majority of the historic emissions causing this crisis will be in Egypt next week. CARE is also sending a delegation to demand the people in positions of power take responsibility for their role in the crisis by, in part, supporting the vulnerable communities suffering the daily reality of the crisis right now – countries like Nigeria, Mali, Chad, and the Philippines.


Floods in 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states have killed more than 600 people and displaced over two million. Experts warn the impact on food production could lead to a major hunger crisis. Photo by CARE Nigeria.

Nigeria has suffered an unprecedented rainy season this year, and many climate experts predict these heavy, sudden rains could become the new normal.

This year’s rains caused the Lagdo Dam in nearby Cameroon to shed excess water, causing the Niger and Benue rivers to flood, submerging hundreds of communities under water and damaging houses, farmland, schools, and health care centers around the country.

There have been over 600 deaths reported so far from the crisis, while the Nigerian government and United Nations estimate that 95 million people will eventually be impacted by the climate-fueled flooding, with over two million people already displaced, and 19.4 million facing food insecurity.

A group of international relief organizations, including CARE, has said that if this is, in fact, the new normal, Nigeria will need urgent help.

“A repeat of this in 2023 when households, farmers and states would still be in the recovery process could be catastrophic.”

“It would heighten pre-existing food insecurity, poverty and increase the number of out of school children, especially girls who in such circumstances suffer early and forced marriage and other forms of gender-based violence,” the groups said in a statement.

“Addressing Nigeria’s perennial flooding is important for the country to make progress. The human-induced causes of flooding must be purposely addressed without further delay.”


In Mali, sudden intense rainfall has caused destructive flooding throughout the Mopti region. More than 3,600 homes have been destroyed, and more than 1,350 households have already been affected.

Ely Keita, CARE Mali’s Country Director, recently visited the village of Syn in the Mopti region to help in the recovery work.

“This year, the flooding of this village was beyond what people could think of. In fact, the villagers told me that they have never seen something like this in 60 years. And this is of course the impact of climate change.

“Sometimes, when we talk about climate change, we don’t really live the reality of its impacts, but the people of Syn are living the reality.”

“Look at this, the entire village is destroyed by the floods. Imagine yourself where you are, where you are sitting, you have no home and no place to stay just because of flood. What would you do?”


Rolel Grace Djekale stand in front of her flooded house looking for a way to get some of her belongings out. Photo from CARE Chad.

A recent CARE report found that, because of its unique geographic circumstances, North Africa’s vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change increases every year, with disproportionate impacts on women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and Indigenous groups.

This year, heavy rainfall in Chad has caused catastrophic floods in 18 of the country’s 23 provinces, displacing over 200,000 households and destroying health facilities, roads, bridges, crops, and water systems.

In October, the Government of Chad declared a state of emergency and called for national and international solidarity to help the more than one million people affected by the floods.

The climate-fueled disaster comes as Chad is already suffering from an unprecedented food crisis, with more than half a million people already suffering from food insecurity.

“We are particularly concerned about the impact of the floods on vulnerable groups including female-headed households, the elderly and those with disabilities,” Dr. Amadou Bocoum, CARE Chad’s Country Director says. “We express our solidarity to the regional crisis committees, the inhabitants, and all those affected by the floods.”

“We urgently need more support from donors, national and international, to scale-up our response. The situation is critical and the time to act is now to avert the threat posed by waterborne diseases, save lives, and restore livelihoods.”

The Philippines

In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, CARE has worked with communities on development projects to aid in rebuilding lives and livelihoods. Photo by Josh Estey.

The Philippines has historically been one of the most vulnerable countries to extreme weather events in the Pacific. According to World Bank data, some 20 tropical cyclones cross the country every year, killing more than 1,000 people annually.

From 2000 to 2019, the Philippines experienced a total of 317 climate-fueled weather-related events, the highest among the most-affected countries, according to the Global Climate Risk Index. These events cost an average of US$ 3.2 billion per year during the period, ranking the country 4th in terms of economic loss and fatalities.

CARE’s work in the Philippines has focused largely on disaster response, aiding local allies with emergency preparedness, livelihoods recovery, and integrated risk management programs. After Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013, CARE quickly scaled up its relief efforts to quickly deliver lifesaving aid to those affected by the Category-5 cyclone. But even nearly twenty years after that one particularly devastating climate-fueled weather event, the country is still dealing with the loss and damage.

Meanwhile, the typhoons keep coming year after year.

“There are still a lot of uncertainties about the scale of the loss and damage costs across so-called developing countries,” Marlene Achoki, CARE Climate Justice Global Policy Co-lead says. “However, there is no doubt that the scale is massive. This will significantly hamper the countries’ possibilities not only to pursue sustainable development goals, but also to invest in the necessary adaptation and resilience as well as mitigation measures.”

Against this backdrop of rapidly accelerating climate catastrophe around the world, CARE is calling on the G20 leaders at COP27 to meet the demands of vulnerable, developing countries like these through financing for climate damages.

“More than ever before, 2022 marks the era of loss and damage,” Achoki continues. “COP27 must kick off an era of solidarity and living up to responsibility. This means for rich and polluting countries establishing and providing dedicated loss and damage funding alongside and in addition to greater adaptation finance to assist countries affected by climate change in dealing with its costs.”

For more details on CARE’s policy positions for COP27, see here.

Evacuation of a family via a small priogue to a dry place. Photo by CARE Chad.
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