Climate change

People in many poor countries suffer from climate change even though they contribute least to greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of climate change are becoming more noticeable in wealthier parts of the world, but low-income countries are likely to remain the most vulnerable.

The scientific evidence that climate change is putting food security at risk is growing. Africa and South Asia are particularly vulnerable.

Climate change affects the types of crops that can grow well in certain areas. It has brought new crop diseases and pests to some regions. The nutrient content of some crops has changed.

And, perhaps easiest to see, weather patterns are changing. Droughts, floods, and other extreme weather have become more common. Rising sea levels and desertification are likely to force some people to seek more habitable places to live.

Bread for the World advocates for people who are most threatened by climate change – people who are already hungry or at risk of hunger. The cost and availability of food affects these groups more than anyone else. In some countries, people in the lowest income group spend 75 percent or more of their incomes on food. Two such nations are Pakistan and Malawi.

Of those most threatened by climate change, women and girls bear the heaviest burdens. They must travel farther in search of water and firewood. They work land that is less fertile and may already be depleted.

Women and girls are also more threatened by natural disasters. For example, in many areas devastated by the 2004 South Asian tsunami, those who died were more likely to be female. In India’s Cuddalore district, nearly 90 percent of victims were women and girls. 

Adapting to climate change requires many interconnected actions and policies. Building resilience in communities where people have always struggled to produce enough food needs to be a high priority as does identifying and adopting sustainable farming practices.

Climate change is a global problem. If countries cannot work together to find and implement solutions, the encouraging progress against hunger of the past few decades could quickly be undone.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • The U.S. Contribution to Ending Global Malnutrition

    We have a new opportunity in 2017 to speed up global progress against malnutrition among pregnant women and young children. Worldwide, maternal and child malnutrition causes millions of deaths each year. In some countries, it holds entire generations back from reaching their economic potential....

  • Fact Sheet: Nutrition During Famine

    Famine means that 20 percent or more of the households in an area have “an extreme lack of food and other basic needs where starvation, death, and destitution are evident.”

    Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, while other areas of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • The State of Black Poverty: A Pan-African Millennial Perspective on Ending Hunger by 2030

    Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...