A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
New science which predicts a rise in sea levels of one meter or more by the end of the century would spell disaster for the some of the world's poorest people, international agency Oxfam International said today (10 March 2009). The new forecasts, announced at an international meeting of climate scientists in Copenhagen, are based on research conducted since the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report which predicted a rise of 18-59 centimeters – less than half that predicted today. Scientists at the meeting said island states and populous delta areas in Bangladesh, Myanmar, South East Asia and Africa would be most at risk from sea level rise.
Rob Bailey, Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam said: "These startling new predictions on sea level rise spell disaster for millions of the world's poorest people. Poor coastal communities in countries such as Bangladesh are already struggling to cope with a changing climate and it can only get worse. This must be a wake-up call for rich countries are not doing anywhere near enough to prevent these cataclysmic predictions becoming a reality. Rich countries, who created the climate crisis, must cut
their emissions from 1990 levels by at least 40 percent by 2020 and provide the $50 billion that is the minimum needed each year to help the world's poorest people adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change."