The Humanitarian Costs of Climate Change

Using existing international databases that track disaster occurrence and humanitarian costs, this research attempts to improve understanding of how climate change may affect international humanitarian spending. Employing four distinct methodological approaches, a range of potential impact scenarios is developed. The findings indicate that climate change will have a significant impact on humanitarian costs and the increase could range from a 32% increase, taking into account only changes in frequency of disasters, to upwards of a 1600% increase when other criteria, such as intensity, are also taken into account.

Further, the report highlights that extreme weather events do not occur in isolation and the increasing interconnectedness of world economic and political systems has made disasters more complex and destructive. The report makes a number of recommendations, including the need for more rigorous and systematic collection of disaster-related data and more constructive interaction between the humanitarian and climate change communities on future research, planning, and action.






thumbnail image of publication cover

This briefing paper presents African pastoralism as an adaptation to uncertain and changeable climate, as well as some of the main challenges that compromise pastoralists’ inherent adaptive capacity.

thumbnail image of publication cover

Ce document d’information présente le pastoralisme africain en tant qu’adaptation à un climat incertain et changeant, et décrit certains des principaux défis qui compromettent les capacités d’adaptation inhérentes des pasteurs.

Thumbnail image of report cover

This study examines how anticipatory action was perceived and experienced among Ethiopians living with drought alongside other crises.

Thumbnail of Report "Do Famine Declarations Really Lead to Increased Funding?

This policy brief examines the relationship between famine declarations and funding since 2011. It shows that, with that one exception, there is little evidence that famine declarations actually result in a rapid increase in funding.

Image of Brief Cover: Actingin in Advance of Flooding

In 2022 UN OCHA led a pilot anticipatory action intervention in South Sudan. This brief presents UN actors’ perceptions of this intervention.

Cover of Report "Sex, age (and more) still matter"

This report reviews progress, outlines barriers to further progress, and makes recommendations to advance gender equality in the humanitarian system.

Load more