IRC lists 7 African nations in its Top 10 for climate disaster risk

By Laureen Fagan - 2 April 2023 at 6:45 pm
IRC lists 7 African nations in its Top 10 for climate disaster risk

African countries account for seven of the 10 most at-risk nations for climate disaster, according to a new report from the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

The organization, with global headquarters in the United States, put Somalia at the top of the list due to its extreme food insecurity made worse by years of conflict and an ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa. “By mid-2023, more than an estimated eight million Somalis – nearly half of the country’s population – will be experiencing crisis levels of food insecurity, or worse,” the IRC said.

Conflict also makes climate progress difficult in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where more than 100 armed groups frequently target civilians while fighting for control in the country’s east. The Congolese people also have dealt with Ebola, malaria and other disease outbreaks that command attention and resources.

“These factors have weakened the country’s ability to prepare the country for climate disasters and disrupted humanitarian support while citizens face floods and rising food insecurity,” said the IRC.

Chad, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Ethiopia also are on the Top 10 list. Some 24 million Ethiopians face drought conditions as they enter a sixth consecutive failed rainy season, while flooding on the opposite side of the African continent has brought misery to Nigerians and damaged crops and land.

Severe flooding also threatens the C.A.R., especially in camps for the internally displaced where the conditions contribute to cholera and other diseases.

“The world’s most vulnerable populations are already on the frontline of the climate crisis,” says IRC head David Miliband. “To curtail the worst climate and extreme weather disasters, major-emitting nations must take drastic actions to rein in emissions.”

Image: Adrienne Surprenant for IRC

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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