We are experiencing the impacts of climate change now. During COP23, we’re calling for urgent action to build the resilience of the people most vulnerable to climate and weather extremes around the world – to avoid drastic humanitarian consequences.

In 2017 alone, the strongest Atlantic hurricane in more than a decade battered an estimated 1.2 million people and posed a serious threat to millions – and was just one hurricane in a series that pummelled the region. South Asia experienced the worst floods in a century.

Across the region, more than 41 million people have been affected with vast destruction of agriculture and housingWithin climate negotiations, focus is often directed towards the vulnerability of a country to climate change.

For the IFRC, it is important to focus not only at the country level, but consider the people who are mostly likely to suffer the humanitarian consequences of climate change. Some communities will be disproportionally affected by climate change for a number of reasons. National Adaptation Plans and National Determined Contributions should consider, as a priority, ways to identify and protect those most vulnerable, especially poor women and girls, and to assist the inclusion of their views in UNFCCC processes and implementation of the Paris Agreement in order not to leave them behind

The IFRC and National Societies have a long-standing history of working with the most vulnerable people in some of the most remote or hard to reach places in the world. Globally one out of every 415 people is a Red Cross Red Crescent volunteer and the IFRC network reaches 70% of those impacted by disasters or 1 in every 25 people each year.