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.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

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.

    ...

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.