Our Changing Climate: A Humanitarian Crisis


The global climate is changing at an unprecedented rate, and it’s having dramatic effects on people around the world.

Through our work supporting vulnerable communities, we are seeing increasingly devastating floods. Shifting weather patterns are also affecting food production and making some disasters more extreme. As a result, vital infrastructures are under threat, like water resources, energy, transportation, agriculture and health, as well as local ecosystems and wildlife.

The climate crisis is a humanitarian crisis.

We see this when we work with communities who have lost homes, livelihoods or loved ones to tropical storms, flooding and drought. Our changing climate is making it harder to live in many parts of the world and issues continue to build for people who play the smallest part in creating them.

Vulnerable families are on the front line of the climate crisis, forced to leave their homes to survive – either because of these disasters, or to find food, water or to make a living.

It is estimated that 1.2 billion people could be displaced by the climate crisis by 2050.

How Disasters are Affected


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How does the Climate Crisis affect people?

Extreme weather events often happen in countries where many people live in poverty. We help vulnerable communities recover after disaster, but the climate crisis is making challenging situations worse.

The climate crisis is having a huge impact on people who depend on the weather for their livelihoods. People who farm, rear livestock, or live a nomadic lifestyle are struggling to feed their families. Climate shocks bring devastating and long-term effects, often forcing them to move away into cities.

This brings a new set of challenging circumstances such as overcrowding, food scarcity and vulnerability to diseases like coronavirus.

For people living through war, the climate crisis makes their already overwhelmingly difficult situation worse.

Floods, droughts, depletion of water sources, shortage of food and often having nowhere to live add to the complexities of war.

With no essential services like health or social care, damaged economies, the constant threat of violence, and the lack of robust shelter, people’s ability to cope can be entirely compromised.

A woman sits in front of her home
“I'm tired of always having to move each time there are floods, but we don't have another option. We simply can't afford to buy a home out of the flood-affected areas.” - Mirta, Paraguay

Why are we talking about climate?

A man leads his donkey pulling a cart with green ShelterBoxes in it.
Severe drought has forced thousands of families to flee their homes in the Horn of Africa. We’ve supported over 4,500 families in Somaliland with essential items to help communities regain their livelihoods.

Supporting communities who have lost their homes to extreme weather events has been a significant part of our work for the last 20 years.

We are on the front line, helping communities in the immediate aftermath of disasters, which are becoming more severe because of our warming climate.

Right now, the climate crisis is destroying homes and livelihoods. With help from our partners, we work to reach some of the world’s most vulnerable people. People who are bearing the brunt of the increase in extreme weather and the ravages of conflict.

The changing climate is irreversibly changing the lives of the communities we support and that means we are already active players in the climate crisis conversation.

Our priority is helping vulnerable people feel more in control of their futures – they know what they’re facing better than we ever could. Through listening to the communities we serve, our work can help with climate change adaption.

Join the conversation

Millions of people in some of the most vulnerable places around the world are facing the challenges of the climate crisis head-on.

We’re committed to reaching communities that urgently need support, but we can’t do it alone.

More About Disasters

Disasters Explained: Floods

Floods are among the most common and devastating disasters. Read more about why they happen and their effects.

Disasters Explained: Hurricanes

Find out everything you need to know about the destructive power of hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons.

Disasters Explained: Tsunamis

Tsunamis can destroy lives, homes, crops and roads in the blink of an eye. Learn more about what they are, what causes them and what the effects are.

Disasters Explained: Volcanoes

Learn what volcanoes are, how they erupt, and the deadly effects of a volcanic eruption.

Disasters Explained: Earthquakes and Landslides

Powerful earthquakes and landslides can be very deadly. Learn everything you need to know about earthquakes and landslides and how we help.

Disasters explained: Droughts

Droughts affect millions of people each year. Learn what they and and how we’ve supported communities.