Conflict-hit countries left to face climate change alone

(Context, 1 Dec 2023) Complex rules to access climate funding shut out fragile states, starving them of support to adapt to a warmer world.

Somali aid worker Hasan Mohammad Sirat has almost no tools at his disposal to tackle the devastating effects of extreme weather in his war-torn country, where floods this year have followed hard on the heels of a severe drought.

"We are trying our best," he said, pointing to awareness measures such as teaching camp residents forced to flee violence and hunger to move to higher ground to escape flooding, which has killed nearly 100 people and uprooted 700,000 since October.

Sirat, a field officer with the Iniskoy for Peace and Development Organization, works in a village near Baidoa city in southwest Somalia, an area that is home to one of the country's largest populations displaced by insurgency and drought.

Last month, floods swept away his uncle's house and many camp tents and other buildings in the Baidoa area, leaving families exposed to the elements.

"These people, they are vulnerable - these people have no houses, (they) need shelter," Sirat said.

But, he added, the authorities in Somalia do not have the funding needed to build safer homes, drainage canals or other infrastructure that can help resist climate shocks and stresses.

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Context, 1 Dec 2023: Conflict-hit countries left to face climate change alone