On Tuesday the government of El Salvador declared a state of emergency in response to the severe drought and record-breaking temperatures that have plagued the country the past 33 days. According to El Salvador’s head of Civil Protection, Jorge Melendez, the lack of rain has affected more than half of the country’s municipalities and resulted in the loss of the equivalent of 1.5 million 60-kg bags of corn.
El Salvador isn’t the only country affected by increasingly high temperatures. Countries like Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom have all reported May was the warmest month in at least a century. In both Greece and the United States, wildfires have ravaged communities, leading to the deaths of at least 80 people outside Athens and the evacuation of Yosemite National Park.
Extreme weather patterns often leave the most vulnerable at risk, highlighted in Global Americans’ series on the effect climate change has on food security, health, housing, and migration in Guatemala and Mexico. According to a survey run by Latinobarómetro, last year, 69% of Latin Americans considered climate change to be an urgent problem that needs to be tackled immediately.
A March report by the World Bank also found that unless climate and development action isn’t taken globally and nationally, three developing regions of the world: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, could be dealing with tens of millions of internal climate migrants by 2050. Latin America could see up to 17 million climate migrants move throughout the region, not including migrants who are already moving for economic, social or political reasons.