Poverty and Climate Change

In September over 100 people lost their lives and nearly 600,000 people lost homes, jobs, and access to goods and services as Typhoon Mangkhut struck the northern island of Luzon, Philippines. The month before, India’s southwestern Kerala state experienced the most extreme flash flooding and landslides in nearly a century. The floods left hundreds of people dead and more than a million displaced.

Climate change is expected to continue to increase the frequency and magnitude of disasters like flooding around the world. People living in poverty, many of whom rely on agriculture and natural resources to survive, are most vulnerable to these changes.

Along with homes, bridges and roads, Typhoon Mangkhut destroyed 80 to 90% of rice and corn crops. This severely jeopardizes long-term food supplies and devastates farmers who live close to the poverty line and were counting on their upcoming harvest.

CRS is aiding families with water purification, shelter kits and cash transfers to meet immediate needs, and is prepared to assist in long-term recovery efforts. As many as 1.6 million farmers and fishermen were also affected by the storm, helping them cope with this disaster and rebuild their incomes is a top priority.

With the increasing needs around the world, we must call on our legislators to address climate change.

Here’s your climate action update:

All summer, we’ve been raising our voices in support of the international food security programs that are authorized in the Farm Bill. You know these programs are critical to addressing climate change by conserving and transforming barren landscapes, helping people when disasters strike and supporting communities in poverty become more resilient to the effects of climate change.

What’s next for the Farm Bill? The Farm Bill conference committee has been working all summer to come to a compromise between both chambers. Although they are close to proposing a final bill for the rest of Congress to review and vote on, they were not able to finalize it before the current Farm Bill expired on September 30.

While the conference committee continues to iron out a final bill, we’ll need your action again over the next couple of months. With members of Congress home in-district for the rest of the month of October, it’s the perfect opportunity to share your concerns with your legislators.

You’ve also been urging Representatives to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress, which seeks to learn about the impacts and find solutions to climate change. As of today, there are now 90 members of the Climate Solutions Caucus, and it continues to grow! Check to see if your Representative has joined and send a message to thank them or to urge them to join.