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Abdul Amir Ali viser frem et bilde av sin avdøde onkel, Abbas Elwan.

Three of the world’s neediest countries have received less than one in a thousand from the Climate Fund – NRK Urix – Foreign News & Documentaries

Raqib Abdul Hamid Ibrahimi does not bark. Instead, he lies thirsty and starving outside the Iraqi farmer’s house.

The Brahimi farm looks like a desert, according to Reuters. Far from the green oasis that was a year ago.

Without the chance of watering, he hasn’t planted a single grain of rice this year. Most of his cattle, cows and chickens died of thirst.

What is happening now has not happened before. We are completely devastated, says the 45-year-old, as he stands by his fields in Mishkhab, a few hundred kilometers south of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The defiled village of Albu Hussein, where Abbas Alwan dug hole after hole to find water.

Photo: Alaa Al-Morjani/Reuters

lost hope

Not far from the Ibrahimi farm, Abbas Alwan ran his family’s farm.

A prolonged drought ravaged the fields. Alwan dug hole after hole to find water, but to no avail.

One evening he went out and never came home. The next day he was found next to the last hole he had dug. He committed suicide.

– That hole was his last hope and there was no water, his brother Ali told Reuters.

Hikma Moteb makes tea while her three-year-old daughter Ghufran Abbas looks on.  The two are alone in their home in the village of Albu Hussein after Ghufran's father, Abbas Alwan, shot himself in August.

Hikma Moteb makes tea while her three-year-old daughter Ghufran Abbas looks on. The two are now alone in their home in the village of Albu Hussein.

Photo: Alaa Al-Morjani/Reuters

Almost empty of water

The stories of the two farmers are repeated place after place in Iraq.

Hatem Hamid Hussein is the head of the Iraqi Center for Water Resources. He is responsible for the country’s dams, where water is collected for both cities and agriculture.

– This year we only have 11 percent of the water we had in 2019, he says.

The result is that many farmers give up and move to cities.

“Fertile Crescent”

These regions are part of what used to be called the “Fertile Crescent”.

It is a belt that runs through what was once called Mesopotamia, and today lies mostly in Syria and Iraq.

This is where humanity first began with organized farming. It is not easy today to identify a desolate landscape.

The United Nations considers the country the fifth most vulnerable to climate change in the world. Severe heat, lack of rain, sandstorms, and salt water ravaging the land are among the biggest problems in both Iraq and Syria.

The Red Cross has assessed climate and environmental threats to Yemen, Syria and Iraq.  Countries have problems in almost every region.

The Red Cross has assessed climate and environmental threats to Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Countries have problems in almost every region.

Photo: Red Cross

Devastated by the civil war

In addition to climate change, Iraq and Syria have also been devastated by civil war. The same applies to Yemen, in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula.

According to FN’s UNDP Development Program Yemen, among others, is threatened by droughts, floods, and sea level rise due to climate change.

In addition, there is a civil war – with foreign intervention – in which 150,000 people have died since 2014. In the same period, at least 227,000 people have starved to death, United Nations Development Programme.

Internally displaced people in a camp in western Yemen that was hit by heavy rains in August this year.

Internally displaced people in a camp in western Yemen that was hit by heavy rains in August this year.

Photo: Khaled Ziad/AFP

The climate crisis is at war

In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Norwegian Red Cross has researched the consequences of the climate crisis in war-torn countries.

In a report to be presented this week, the Red Cross points to a number of points where war is exacerbating the climate crisis.

NRK was granted exclusive access to the report, which shows, among other things, that refugees and internally displaced persons are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of severe weather.

In Iraq, Yemen and Syria, refugee camps and settlements for the internally displaced have been badly damaged by floods, storms or extreme temperatures.

In Yemen alone, 1.6 million internally displaced persons live in camps consisting of tents, barracks and barns.

In 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, Yemen experienced widespread flooding. Floods not only destroy the homes of the poor, but also bring with them diseases such as cholera, diphtheria and malaria.

Get a little money

Despite the fact that few countries in the world are in such dire need of aid as Iraq, Yemen and Syria, they receive almost no support from climate funds.

Paris agreement It requires rich countries to support the most vulnerable countries with financing for emissions reduction and climate adaptation.

In order for poor countries to receive the money, the international climate funds distributing the money require that poor countries have detailed applications on how the money will be used, the Red Cross wrote.

Countries at war struggle to submit reports and write applications.

The Red Cross review shows that neither Yemen nor Syria has a national climate adaptation plan, while Iraq has barely started its own.

The result is that countries get hardly any money. A review of data from 27 international climate funds shows that the three countries have only received a total of $20.6 million from them. Of the total $21.3 billion in funds distributed.

put another way; Three of the neediest countries received less than a thousand — one for every thousand — of the money distributed.

At this year’s Climate Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, it was agreed to establish a Loss and Damage Fund:

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