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Increased climate volatility expected to worsen poverty vulnerability in developing countries
Date:8/19/2009

A new study supported by the World Bank has for the first time tried to combine, understand and predict the effects of climate change on food prices and wages in developing countries to assess how badly different socio-economic strata in sixteen vulnerable countries will be hit by extreme weather conditions, associated with climate change such as annual-scale hot, dry and wet extremes.

Using the same methodology for climate prediction as the International Panel on Climate Change and data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the report, published in IOP Publishing's Environmental Research Letters today, Thursday, 20 August, is a crucial stepping stone in the fight to help those most at risk. Find the report http://stacks.iop.org/ERL/4/034004 from Thursday.

The paper, 'Climate volatility deepens poverty vulnerability in developing countries', written by researchers from the Development Research Group at the World Bank and climate researchers at Purdue University in Indiana, US, explains why extreme exposure to food price increases for the urban poor in countries such as Bangladesh, Mexico, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, suggest that it is the urban poor who will be hardest hit and enter most rapidly in to poverty as the climate changes throughout this century.

The paper hopes to inform policy makers to allow better-informed strategic mobilisation of international development resource and climate policy instruments. Barriers such as access to credit, missing infrastructure and the lack of information to those most likely affected must be tackled.

The importance of doing so is stressed with UN figures incorporated into the report that predict decreases in the share of developing countries' populations living in rural areas. It is suspected rural populations will decrease by more than one third between 2010 and 2050, thereby increasing the numbers likely
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Contact: Joseph Winters
joseph.winters@iop.org
44-020-747-04815
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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