Community Highlights

Feeling the Heat: Communities Adapting to a Changing Climate

On Sat, 6 August, 2022 - 10:01
Ananta's picture

At Karuna USA we believe that every individual deserves a decent life and the opportunity to achieve their potential, regardless of caste, race or ethnicity. This ‘vision’ is oh-so apparent to us as temperatures soar across the globe.

With records continuing to be broken in the US and Europe, Karuna USA’s focus countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh are similarly suffering under the staggering heat. March and April of this year were the hottest on record in India, regularly passing 110 degrees in the north where a billion people live. In May, the temperature in Delhi reached 121 degrees and overheated birds fell out of the sky.

The human cost is devastating, especially for the poorest who lack cooling devices and are more likely to engage in outdoor, manual work (you can read more about the situation in this excellent New Yorker article). There is a deep injustice that the poorest bear the most burden when so many other countries have contributed to climate change.  Many people we know here in the US feel helpless to change that. We can help! 

In May we shared an update about climate mitigation work in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is among the top 5 countries with the highest disaster risk, with 140 million people at significant risk to natural hazards. With our support, vulnerable communities are preparing better for disasters, receive help in the event of flooding, and maintain their livelihoods.  Because of its success in Bangladesh, this project has been expanded to India too!!

Through our focus on building sustainable livelihoods, the poorest people can have access to sustainable and dignified work that improves their quality of life. Climate-focused projects also help them mitigate some of the worst impacts of climate change. Some examples include women’s cooperatives for organic farming in Bihar, and community enterprises for Tribal forest-dwelling women in Odisha and for rural women in Nepal. 

Small investments in the right place can lift people out of poverty and positively change the lives of thousands.

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