Over the last 20 years, 90% of disasters have been caused by floods, storms, heatwaves and other weather-related events. Over this period, weather-related disasters claimed 606,000 lives, an average of some 30,000 per annum, with an additional 4.1 billion people injured, left homeless or in need of emergency assistance, according to the United Nations.
El Niño & children
El Niño is having a devastating impact on children in the Southern Africa region forcing them into early marriage, child labour and out of school. The Early Stage Child Protection Rapid Assessment was conducted in nine countries in the region found that the disaster was severely impacting the lives of children and their futures. El Niño’s impact was worsening the lives of children forcing them to migrate, separating them from their parents, leaving them hungry, vulnerable to sexual exploitation, violence, child labour and psychosocial distress. 80 percent of experts questioned said school drop-outs had increased largely due to lack of food.
World vision's response
El Niño is a term for the warming phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It is a warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific that occurs, on average, every three to seven years. During an El Niño event, sea surface temperatures across the Pacific can warm by 1–3°F or more for anything between a few months to two years. El Niño impacts weather systems around the globe so that some places receive more rain while others receive none at all, often in a reversal of their usual weather pattern.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
World Vision works in and with communities for up to 15 years and can release 20% of its community development budget for immediate humanitarian support where necessary. This funding comes from the organisation's committed, long-term, private donor funding base.
In the Somalia Resilience Program, every dollar invested in resilience, disaster risk reduction and early action has saved four dollars in emergency relief. New sources and new kinds of funding for different programmes are needed if we are to reduce poverty and help communities adapt to the 'new normal'.
Recognising the unjust toll that disasters take on those who are already struggling, World Vision has focused on four specific areas in order to minimise the impact of some of the worst weather-related disasters:
- Food Assistance
- Disaster Risk Reduction,
- Early Recovery; and