Climate change might be inevitable, but according to an Oxfam report, the number of people who die and are made destitute due to ensuing natural disasters should not be.
Climate crises are projected to affect more than 375 million people each year by 2015, up from nearly 250 million now, as global warming leads to more extreme weather including droughts and floods and the poor crowd into city slums, as stated in the Oxfam report.
Oxfam is calling for rich countries to step up and help out. The report states:
"There is nothing inevitable about a future in which greater numbers of people die and are made destitute by natural hazards and conflict."
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According to Reuters, Oxfam says:
humanitarian aid needs to rise to at least $25 billion (17.18 billion pounds) a year from around $14 billion in 2006.
The Guardian reports that:
Oxfam called for a fundamental review of the humanitarian aid system, saying that in addition to the $25bn a year for disaster relief, much more would be needed to adapt to future climate change. "A commitment to rich countries spending $42bn a year to help them adapt to unavoidable climate change is a vital first step and in the medium-term, developing countries will need at least $50bn a year."
The agency warned that climate change threatened its work to overcome poverty, and called on rich nations to commit themselves at U.N. talks to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that will keep global warming below a rise of 2 degrees Celsius.
Jane Cocking, Oxfam's humanitarian director, told Reuters that:
The aid system also faced a heavy burden from long-running conflicts in places like Sudan's western region of Darfur.
Financial aid is not the only thing rich countries can or should consider looking into. Even though climate change is inevitable, a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions and create a level playing field, ensuring inequalities in the amounts of aid given are eradicated, need to be focus points for the developed nations.
Reuters goes on to point out:
The report notes the inequality in the amounts of aid given to different emergencies -- for example, in 2004, $1,241 was spent on each survivor of the Asian tsunami, while those caught up in Chad's humanitarian crisis received only $23 each. Oxfam also criticised the global aid system for being too Western and focussed on centralised responses to large, high-profile disasters. It said humanitarian aid must become more appropriate for local needs, and be delivered faster.