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Number of People Affected By Climate Disaster Up 54% By 2015
Date:4/21/2009

Oxfam Calls for Urgent Action, Increase Could Overwhelm Current Response System

WASHINGTON, April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The number of people affected by climate-related humanitarian disasters is projected to rise by 54% by 2015, threatening to overwhelm emergency response and humanitarian aid systems, said international agency Oxfam America in a new report released today.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080221/DC14723LOGO )

The rise in numbers -- from the current 250 million per year to 375 million by 2015 -- is due to the increasing threat of climate change-induced severe weather events and inability of millions of people worldwide to prepare to deal with such catastrophes. In the report, The Right to Survive, Oxfam America recommends adequate and urgent investments in climate change adaptation and an overhaul of the current system of humanitarian assistance in order to meet the challenge of more frequent and devastating disasters.

"Entrenched poverty in many parts of the world makes people more vulnerable to disasters," said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. "Climate change is already threatening our work to overcome poverty, and now it is increasing the pressure on our relief work. It is crucial that we tackle global warming head on by cutting dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, but we must also invest in community preparedness to cope with climate-related disasters."

According to the report, the international humanitarian system must change the way it delivers aid, with a focus on helping build countries' ability to prepare and withstand future shocks. The report recommends increased humanitarian aid to ensure there is adequate funding to support t
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SOURCE Oxfam America
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