As massive El Niño strengthens, UN emergency fund supports millions in affected countries

2 December 2015

Following the devastating impact of El Niño, the United Nations relief wing has announced that the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided some $76 million for life-saving activities in response to drought, drought-like conditions, floods and related insecurity, and other disasters in East Africa, Southern Africa, the Pacific Islands, South East Asia and Central America throughout 2015.

According to a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the climatic event El Niño has impacted millions of people across the globe throughout 2015, and they will continue to be at risk of extreme weather, including below-normal rains in some areas and flooding in others, in early 2016.

OCHA said that the humanitarian fallout in certain areas will include increased food insecurity due to low crop yields and rising prices; higher malnutrition rates; devastated livelihoods; and forced displacement.

According to the news release, the CERF has been one of the quickest and largest supporters of early humanitarian response to climate-related events linked to El Niño.

As of today, CERF has provided relief funding for: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ($6.3 million), El Salvador ($3 million), Eritrea ($2.5 million), Ethiopia ($25.5 million), Haiti ($3 million), Honduras ($2.3 million), Malawi ($9.9 million), Myanmar ($10.5 million), Somalia ($4.9 million) and Zimbabwe ($8.1 million).

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

El Niño on track to be among worst ever, but world better prepared for fallout – UN

The current El Niño, a weather pattern of devastating droughts and catastrophic floods that can affect tens of millions of people around the globe, is expected to strengthen further by year's end, on track to be one of the three strongest in 65 years, according to the latest update from the United Nations weather agency.