Climate change is the most urgent and defining crisis of our time. But what is its direct impact on human lives? Around the world countries are already suffering from its consequences.

If climate change affects everyone, everywhere, its impact on vulnerable and poor communities is even more devastating.

The climate crisis is also a humanitarian crisis. Every year, millions of people are forced to flee their homes due to increasingly frequent disasters, such as floods, cyclones, droughts and forest fires. In 2020 alone, 30,7 million people were internally displaced because of disasters – accounting for over 75% of the people estimated to have been internally displaced that year. By 2050, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance every year could rise to over 200 million.

In 2021, the EU allocated € 150 million to help communities affected by natural hazards fulfil urgent needs, such as food assistance, health, water, sanitation, shelter and rehabilitation of basic infrastructure. In addition, every year the EU allocates an average of € 50 million of its annual humanitarian funding for targeted disaster preparedness actions. Climate change exacerbates existing humanitarian crises and disrupts the efficacy of humanitarian aid operations.

The past couple of years have shown that countries across Europe are also not immune to climate change. From deadly rainfalls and floodings in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, to forest fires in Greece and Spain, climate-change-related disasters are becoming more frequent and destructive, everywhere in the world. With the #ClimateConnect campaign, the EU wants to engage young Europeans in a global dialogue about the consequences of climate change on human lives.

To shed light on how climate change impacts lives of youngsters from vulnerable and hazard-prone communities, #ClimateConnect presents the personal stories of Karen from the Dominican Republic, and Britta and Jaqueline from Zimbabwe. In both countries, the EU is currently providing direct assistance to support disaster preparedness and education programmes aimed at improving local communities’ response to extreme weather events.

Discover more about the #ClimateConnect campaign: