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Hope in a changing climate

What's happening?

Climate change is making people hungry right now. 

Extreme weather events - like floods and droughts - are becoming more frequent. Weather patterns and seasons are becoming more erratic. Our experience and our in-depth research keeps reaching the same conclusion: the poorest people are bearing the brunt.

Families who already endure the injustice of poverty are seeing their crops fail, livestock die and harvests wiped out. Poor farmers are struggling to earn a living or feed their families. And food prices are rising because less food is being produced.

So people can't grow food. They can't buy it either. And families are going hungry as a result.

What's the plan?

We're working with communities worldwide to help families adapt. Here are just a few of the many stories showing how your support is helping people improve their future, despite the changing climate.

But these powerful projects aren't enough to stop climate change. To do that, we need governments and big businesses to act too. We're turning to supporters like you to make change happen.

But there is good news

You're already helping people to adapt to the changing climate. Thanks to you, Oxfam is running projects like these all over the world, helping people stay one step ahead. Alongside action by governments and businesses, projects like these are a vital part of reducing the impact of climate change on people living in poverty. However, more is needed and fast. Let's not make it one step forward, two steps back. We all know we're doing our part, now let's push governments and businesses to do the same.

Together, we will be heard. Change doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen. In recent years, we've achieved historic victories on arms control and aid. So we know the government will act if you speak up. And climate secretary Amber Rudd has said getting rid of coal is on her to-do list, so it's time to make sure she gets it done.

See Oxfam's climate change campaign 


Whenever you donate, volunteer or shop with Oxfam, you are helping us work with more people like Jilena, Padma and Edson - making their families smile as they say goodbye to poverty for good.

Stories of hope in a changing climate

Image: Tessa Bunney

What's the climate problem?

"Before, there was enough water to supply the whole area. But now we have long droughts every year. Jilena Pineda, Philippines, relies on her rice harvest to feed her family and send her children to school. "I was so worried, I cried and couldn't sleep".

Staying one step ahead…

Oxfam has worked with her, and other vulnerable farmers in the area, to learn new farming practices and other techniques to conquer challenges brought on by the increase in natural disasters in the country, which are partially due to climate change. Now, Jilena is one of many who can smile and say "I am very proud of what I have achieved, and how I have managed to send my children to school and college." Instead of the changing climate devastating her family's future, we have helped her provide them with promise and the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty for good. What a reason to smile!

"We women are having to do more labouring as we can't make a living from the land, and the men have already had to leave to seek work in India."

What's the climate problem?

"Because we're working so much we often have to keep our older children home from school to look after the younger children and our livestock. Because we are spending more on food we are spending less on their education. Still now we don't know what to do to cope with these changes. We need some training and guidance, we need some support."

Staying one step ahead…

Since Padma spoke these words, Oxfam has been working in with her village and others in the district to find ways to keep developing and stopping the unpredictable weather from causing so many problems. This has involved:

  • Taking community leaders to other villages who have already started adapting to the changing weather so they can learn from each other and share it with their own communities
  • Introducing new seeds for cereal crops and other vegetables that produce high yields despite the extreme weather
  • Helping to develop water storage schemes including dams, tree planting, rehabilitation of springs, rainwater harvesting tanks, and irrigation ponds

Read Oxfam's report on this project, what worked well and what we learnt


Image: Nicole Johnston

Edson James Kamba relaxing after a long day in the fields. "The weather is much hotter than it was when I was young and this affects the maize. It's all very unreliable. Sometimes it rains heavily, and then there is not a drop for the next 2 weeks." 

What's the climate problem?

"When I was a boy my parents had one and a half acres and they could grow lots of food without chemicals. Now people can't grow enough to feed themselves on that amount of land" says Edson, from Balaka district in Malawi. "The weather is much hotter than it was when I was young and this affects the maize. It's all very unreliable."
In areas like Balaka, the extreme and unpredictable weather mean families are harvesting less than half what they would have expected two to three years ago. People are living day by day hoping to bring home enough money for food. At times when work is scarce, the little food families are able to buy or harvest is rationed out to last as long as possible, meaning many families are only able to feed their children once a day at best and parents sacrificing their own meals for several days at a time.

Staying one step ahead…

Oxfam has helped improve farmers' production by supporting them to grow more drought resistant crops, developing irrigation systems and providing training in water management and soil conservation techniques. 

The project has also helped to provide new ways of generating income by distributing livestock and establishing a village loan scheme. Communities will also be taught how to identify climate risks, prepare action plans and implement disaster risk reduction measures. 

Oxfam's climate change campaign 

Working together to end poverty

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