When climate variability and shifting climatic trends converge to produce severe droughts, fragile, food-insecure populations rapidly face food crises as supplies drop, prices rise, and household incomes decline. In the most vulnerable areas, these unanticipated climate shocks can devastate herds and harvests. The number of undernourished people continues to grow at an alarming rate, with more than 76 million people experiencing life-threatening famine conditions in 2017-2018.
Employing only traditional monitoring and forecasting methods is inadequate in predicting when largely defenseless regions, especially in Africa, will be in dire need of timely humanitarian aid. To combat this growing threat, the CHC works with U.S., African, and Latin American partners to develop and deploy improved earth observations, forecasts, and decision-support tools which, when combined with capacity-building activities, fosters a knowledgeable community of decision-makers.
This collaborative effort to help protect environmentally threatened people is crucial in enabling them to continue their traditional means of livelihood. With advance notice and timely humanitarian assistance, inhabitants of susceptible regions cannot only prepare for climate hazards, but also live with the assurance that their livelihoods will be protected to the greatest extent possible.