From drought-hit northern Kenya, Oxfam Ambassador Helena Christensen joins final call for climate action at Durban
Just hours before the UN climate talks taking place in Durban (South Africa) wrap up, Oxfam Global Ambassador and photographer Helena Christensen urges ministers to agree a deal which delivers for the world’s poorest people who are already suffering from the impact of climate change.
Helena is currently on project work for Oxfam in Turkana, in Northern Kenya, one of the many regions in the Horn of Africa affected by a severe drought which has put over 13 million people at risk. Helena is witnessing, first-hand, the impact that extreme weather events – which are set to increase in frequency and intensity due to climate change – pose to food security in pastoralist communities, at a time when the price of food and fuel are sky-rocketing.
"Having spent the last few days speaking to pastoralists who have been terribly affected by persistent droughts, it is clear that ministers meeting in Durban must respond to the calls for urgent action to tackle climate change. It is shameful that some of the biggest emitters and most powerful nations, like the US, are blocking real progress that could prevent millions more people in Africa and elsewhere being driven into hunger,” said Helena Christensen.
"I spoke to, Kiyonga, a 64 year-old woman, who used to depend on her cows and goats to feed her family. But drought has killed all the animals and she has been forced to abandon her village and her whole way of life. She now survives by growing crops but is at the mercy of the devastating change in weather patterns."
"Kiyonga's biggest worry is not being able to send her children and grandchildren to school to have a better future, she uses the little money she makes to buy very basic food. This is yet another mother to tell me the price of maize had doubled over the past year."
"Michael, a 53 year-old blind man, outlined the struggle of his community in Lokore, where people are facing two huge problems: rising food prices and climate change."
"It's people like Kiyonga and Michael who urgently need to see the money that rich countries pledged for the world's poorest at the Copenhagen summit two years ago. Ministers in Durban must find a way to make this happen.”
Tim Gore, Oxfam's climate change lead, said: “Rich countries must now deliver the money they have promised to help poor countries adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way. New sources of long-term finance to flow through the Green Climate Fund must be agreed as soon as possible for the sake of the world’s poorest people whose lives are already being devastated by the impacts of climate change. A carbon charge on shipping is one such source which could ensure that the fund does not remain an empty shell.”
Notes to Editors
To download photos: http://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/?c=10432&k=5b0e171ebd
To download footage: http://bit.ly/szWeBT
This is Danish supermodel and photographer Helena Christensen's third trip with Oxfam, the previous ones being Nepal and Peru two years ago, when she also attended the UN climate talks in Copenhagen to ask leaders to act. More at http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/ambassadors/helena-christensen
Climate Change blog
Photo of the wk: Young Ahmed holds the keys to 1 of 48 new wash blocks, Zaatari camp #Jordan http://t.co/qOs5BOPh63 #Syria #refugees14 hours 21 min ago
1000s homeless again, searching for safety as violence erupts again in eastern #DRC http://t.co/C3cLwXNit3 $1bn WorldBank aid pledge15 hours 41 min ago
UN Disaster Risk Reduction Conference: Good, but needs to go further http://t.co/Hm54O1EsXT #GPDRR13 #drr @UNDP @unisdr @odi_development16 hours 45 min ago
European #taxhavens are 2/3 of the $150 billion tax loss problem http://t.co/jax7i3jVsd #G8 #taxdodging #transparency18 hours 25 min ago
Thx @Food_Tank! Proud 2b in 40 Orgs Shaking Up the Food System list @IFADnews @millenniuminst @OneAcreFund @ONECampaign @rocunited @FAOnews20 hours 31 min ago
RT @oxfamgb: Good news of £30m extra funding from @DFID_UK for #Syria. Still need more aid from others & big push for a peace. http://t.co/…20 hours 38 min ago
US pushes Europe to amend arms #embargo on Syrian rebels http://t.co/B8KYe8VNQn #SyriaCrisis @StateDept @WilliamJHague @eu_eeas @OxfamEU21 hours 15 min ago
+80,000 ppl have been killed & several million displaced since the #SyriaCrisis began; #EU must extend arms embargo http://t.co/JlpzH9egf721 hours 44 min ago
RT @Katie_Nguyen1: Another arresting headline from @katymigiro 'Chips for sex: Oxfam explores the lives of #Kenya’s hungry millions' http:…22 hours 5 min ago
RT @liviafirth: 1 empowered woman can spark a positive change for her whole community @Oxfam @thecircle_oxfam #SparksthatFly @eco_age22 hours 24 min ago
RT @Karl_Schembri: #Syria children nxt to newly installed water tap outside 1 of 48 new wash blocks by @Oxfam in #Zaatari Camp, #Jordan htt…23 hours 1 min ago
The #ArmsTreaty can create a safer future for millions, but first it needs signatures. Urge the US to sign! http://t.co/4YUsIawus71 day 50 min ago
#EU foreign ministers must bite the bullet & extend the arms #embargo on #Syria http://t.co/rL80yARiSt #SyriaCrisis #ArmsTreaty1 day 7 hours ago
RT @OxfamIreland: Ireland pledges €2.5 million in aid to Mali to contribute to reconstruction http://t.co/wvUzsRsHoD via @IrishTimes #Mal…1 day 14 hours ago
As @UN Disaster Risk Reduction Conference ends, worth checking #GPDRR13 for great tweets from @unisdr @UNOCHA @Federation et al1 day 15 hours ago