#TheHumanRace A global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most.
Established by the UN in 2009, World Humanitarian Day is commemorated every year on August 19th to pay tribute to humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work. Humanitarian aid workers provide life-saving assistance to suffering people all over the world.
This year, the event highlights the immediate human cost of the climate crisis, with the hope that world leaders will take meaningful climate action for the world’s most vulnerable people.
“The climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.” – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
Climate hazards are natural events in weather cycles. We’ve always had hurricanes, droughts and wildfires, flooding and high winds. However, we are currently witnessing a scale of destruction and devastation that is new and terrifying.
Climate change affects global temperature and precipitation patterns. These effects, in turn, influence the intensity and, in some cases, the frequency of extreme environmental events, such as forest fires, hurricanes, heat waves, floods, droughts, and storms.
These disasters have left people all over the world without the means to put food on their table, and have been forced from their homes. Extreme weather disasters affect all countries, rich and poor.
In Canada, we too have felt the impact of climate change, in ways never seen before. In late June, western Canada was caught under a "heat dome", a phenomenon causing scorching temperatures when hot air is trapped by high pressure fronts, and heats up even more as it is pushed back down. We broke our “high temperature” record several times, finally capping at 49.6 degrees Celsius (121 degrees Fahrenheit) in the village of Lytton on June 30.
Hours later, Lytton was on fire. A village of fewer than 300 people, nestled among mountain ranges, and prone to hot summers, the town was consumed by flames that destroyed 90 percent of it. While local rail traffic may have been the cause of the fire, the outcome was exacerbated by the heat and drought conditions in the area. Looking at this year, so far, more than 4,000 square kilometres of B.C. has burned: that is four times the 10-year average. The wildfire service warns the combination of high temperatures and low relative humidity will make future fires even more intense.
The PWC would like to thank all the firefighters, emergency crew, and volunteers who are battling this year’s fires, and helping those displaced to seek shelter and support.
The world faces a race against time to reduce emissions and help all of us cope with climate impacts that are already being faced today and will escalate in the years ahead.
How to Observe World Humanitarian Day
Donate to a Humanitarian Organization - There are humanitarian organizations all over the world and within your community. If you are able to donate your time to one of these organizations, that’s wonderful. If you can’t, a monetary donation would be greatly appreciated.
Do some Humanitarian Work in your Community - the point of humanitarian aid is to alleviate people’s suffering and maintain human dignity. Volunteering your time can help immensely. Contact the Peachland Wellness Centre to learn about the volunteer opportunities that this organization, and others, provide to the Peachland Community.
Contact your elected leaders - Call, email or send a tweet to let your elected leaders know how important the climate crisis is to you, and their need to focus on ways to better protect people and help communities prepare for, and reduce the risk of natural disasters resulting from climate change.
The PWC is always available for you to contact by calling (250) 767-0141 Monday to Friday between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm to get information on available resources, programs and services. The PWC partners with many organizations to ensure the help you need is available.
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