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Heifer participant in Sierra Leone.

Haiti, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Cambodia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and the Philippines. According to a report by the British risk analysis firm, Maplecroft, these 10 countries are at the most extreme risk for impacts caused by climate change.

According to a post on EarthSky:

Maplecroft analyzed the vulnerability of 193 countries to climate change impacts. They first evaluated the degree to which countries will be exposed to extreme weather events and other climate-related natural disasters. Next, the company assessed the ability of countries to cope with climate change impacts by evaluating factors such as governmental effectiveness, infrastructure capacity and the availability of natural resources.

The report makes it clear that it is mostly the poorest sections of society that will bear the brunt of climate change impacts. 

Of the 10 countries listed, Heifer works in all but two (Madagascar and DRC). Improving communities' resilience to climate change and disaster is integrated into many of our projects, particularly those in high risk areas. Last month I posted about a project of ours in the Philippines that was in the midst of Community-Managed Disaster Risk Reduction training when torrential rains caused damaging floods, further stressing the importance of the training.

By working with small farmers to find the most environmentally sensitive and beneficial approaches to agriculture, we are doing our part to curb climate change while reducing the risks faced by our project communities. In fact, Heifer International's East Africa Dairy Development Initiative was mentioned in a report titled "Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change" as an example of how programs can address food security in the context of climate change.

If you're interested in funding work in a country from this top-10 high-risk list, check out the Integrated Livestock Development Project in Sierra Leone, which focuses on a region of Sierra Leone facing rapid population growth, a high incidence of communicable diseases, and increased pressure on natural resources and physical infrastructure. By providing participants with opportunities to build livelihoods using sustainable farming practices, this project will strengthen the communities and the environment at the same time.


Brooke Edwards

Brooke Edwards is from Little Rock, Arkansas, and started working at Heifer International in 2009 as a writer. She and her husband raise two daughters in a house way too small for their four pets. They spend a lot of time sweeping.