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Home » Food and Water Security Solutions: Reflections on Mitigating Climate-induced Population Displacement in Africa

Food and Water Security Solutions: Reflections on Mitigating Climate-induced Population Displacement in Africa

Food and Water Security Solutions: Reflections on Mitigating Climate-induced Population Displacement in Africa

Almost two years after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, thousands of people remain displaced. At the time, Idai was the most powerful cyclone to hit the Southern Hemisphere in two decades, but it is no longer an anomaly. Worse, the Word Bank reports that climate change can potentially wipe out decades of social and economic progress in the developing world by displacing millions of people, many of whom will be pushed into poverty. Food and water insecurity connected to climate hazards—particularly in places dependent on agriculture—is a major factor which has forced families and whole communities to relocate for safety and subsistence.

How do we solve the problem of climate-induced population displacement within the larger context of the global climate crisis? Across Africa, action on displacement is focused on rebuilding food security, water systems, and livelihoods decimated by the changing climate. Efforts have also sought to bolster ecological systems in response to environmental changes which occur over time (like desertification and sea-level rise) and which threaten the continent.

Smarter Food Systems

Availability, access, utilization, and stability are the four pillars of food security. Each are affected by climate change. Extreme heat and unpredictable weather patterns disrupt the agricultural planting cycle. Extensively wet or dry conditions affect crop yield and quality, putting some food systems at risk of collapsing.

Climate-smart agricultural practices—managing crops, livestock, forests, and fisheries in a way that addresses interlinked challenges of climate change—along with climate adaptation policies have been crucial to securing food systems in Africa.


Almost two years after Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, thousands of people remain displaced. At the time, Idai was the most powerful cyclone to hit the Southern Hemisphere in [...]
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