ACF Urges Action on Hunger in Copenhagen

Humanitarian organization joins UN agencies and civil society groups to publicize link between climate change and hunger
A family in Niger, courtesy S. Hauenstein-Swan

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—Action Against Hunger | ACF International is calling attention to the impact of climate change on undernutrition, which now affects more than a billion people worldwide, ahead of next week’s UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Climate change increases the incidence and severity of extreme weather events and magnifies the risks of disasters throughout the world, affecting rural and urban livelihoods and accelerating the displacement of vulnerable populations. It also poses a major threat to the availability and accessibility of food and puts millions of people at risk of increased exposure to water stress and disease.

Action Against Hunger, in collaboration with other members of The United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, is urging all governments, along with United Nations Organizations, donors, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and civil society organizations to:

  • Join forces in advocating for greater political commitment, resource allocation and accountability to counter the harmful effects of climate change on the achievement of the 1st, 4th and 5th Millennium Development Goals, which concern extreme poverty and hunger, maternal health, and child mortality.
  • Ensure that negotiations on climate change adaptation in the frame of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aim at protecting and promoting nutrition through appropriate support to livelihoods, agriculture, health, water and natural resource management.
  • Develop a knowledge base to inform future programming on climate change and nutrition. Priority should be given to understanding and documenting the impacts of climate change on nutrition in representative eco-systems; setting up a comprehensive nutrition surveillance system; identifying, validating and costing the set of interventions required to protect nutrition from climate-related hazards and climate change, and capitalizing on lessons learnt through experience.
  • Scale up interventions that successfully reduce the impacts of climate change on nutrition and enable people to adapt by increasing community resilience to climate change, thereby protecting people at risk of undernutrition and promoting healthy nutrition and sustainable diets.
  • Ensure that climate change mitigation actions will not undermine the ability of poor people to feed themselves and access adequate public health, noting that all countries need to contribute to take action on this mitigation.
  • Prioritize action for countries that are the most affected by undernutrition and climate change, targeting the most vulnerable people in these countries, particularly pregnant and nursing women and infants.
  • Take action and provide immediate funding for climate adaptation to build capacity and strengthen existing sector-based mechanisms that will be required to deliver adaptation programs.