Special Envoys to Help UN 'Sound the Alarm' on El Niño and Climate Change
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointments today of Mary Robinson of Ireland and Macharia Kamau of Kenya as his Special Envoys on El Niño and Climate.
According to Mr. Ban's spokesperson, these appointments come at a time of great urgency. Drought and flooding associated with El Niño have created massive needs across the world, especially in the four worst affected regions of East Africa, Southern Africa, Central America and the Pacific. Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. One million children in Eastern and Southern Africa alone are severely acutely malnourished. And global food insecurity is not expected to peak before December.
Moreover, this year's El Niño is taking place in a world already dramatically affected by climate change. More extreme weather events are expected in the future, and these hit the poorest communities - those least responsible for climate change - first and hardest. Aid is not enough; a longer term approach is required in order to build the resilience of the most vulnerable.