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All of us are impacted, one way or another, by climate change. But the communities in the Horn of Africa–in countries like Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia–are on the front lines of the climate crisis, even though they have not contributed very much to global CO2 emissions. Climate change has had devastating impacts in that part of the world. Catastrophic droughts, flooding, and other rapidly accelerating natural disasters have been demolishing people’s lives and livelihoods, and exacerbating conflict.
Mercy Corps works with the people and communities who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and those at the forefront of climate innovation, to find a sustainable way forward together. Founded in 1979 in Seattle, the organization was set up to respond to the refugee crisis in Cambodia. Over the years, Mercy Corps expanded its work into Sudan and other places. Today, Mercy Corps works in 40 countries around world, and has a staff of more than 5,400 team members who work together to address issues of global poverty and injustice. They’re committed to creating global change through local impact — 84% of Mercy Corps’ team members are from the countries where they work.
Every community that Mercy Corps works with is dealing in real time with the impacts of climate change. When they address poverty, conflict, or hunger, they also have to understand how climate change is affecting different communities and compounding each of these areas to worsen existing crisis. Mercy corps’ work on climate justice is focused on helping support communities to cope with the impact of climate change and, over time, to adapt their livelihood to these different forces. The ultimate goal is for communities to thrive in the face of the new climate and new realities. Mercy Corps works with communities understand the effects of climate change and how they can work together within their community to adapt. This looks different in all the different places where they work.
One way that Mercy Corps works on climate justice issues is by supporting local decision makers and government authorities to have accurate information and forecasts about the longer term implications of climate change and how to expect their communities to change over the next 10, 20, and 30 years so that they can make decisions around natural resource management and infrastructure construction that will help to support that community to better adapt.
Read the full article about climate change by Tyler LePard at Global Washington.