Friday, August 28, 2009

Climate change hits millions in Nepal

Millions of people in Nepal face severe food shortage as changing weather patterns hit crop production in the country, an international aid agency warned.Climate changes have dramatically affected crop yields in Nepal, leaving farmers unable to properly feed themselves, and pushing them deeper into debts, Oxfam International said in a report released here.

According to the report, "Even the Himalayas Have Stopped Smiling: Climate Change, Poverty and Adaptation in Nepal", more than 3.4 million people in Nepal are estimated to require food assistance, due to a combination of natural disasters, including last year's winter drought -- one of the worst in the country's history. Calling the situation "deeply worrying", the report says the crop production is nearly half that of previous years. "Poor farmers rely on rainfall. They farm small areas of land which, at the best of times, can barely produce enough food for the family," said Oxfam's Nepal country director, Wayne Gum. Higher food prices have also reduced people's ability to purchase food, adds the report. Among recent changes in weather patterns in Nepal are an increase in temperature extremes, more intense rainfall and increased unpredictability in weather patterns, including drier winters and delays in the summer monsoons.
Link PTI

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