Climate change never comes alone

| 17th September 2021 |

One of the areas most affected by extreme hazards, in particular natural hazards, is the Dry Corridor. Climate risks in the Dry Corridor are mainly represented by recurrent droughts, excessive rains and severe flooding affecting agricultural production, with greater intensity in degraded areas.

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Migration to North America has become predominantly male because of climate hazards and hostile immigration policies.

Families are regularly broken apart - a story told by the infamous images of children detained at the US Southern border.

Unpredictable rain - irregular precipitation - has made the Dry Corridor in Central America one of the most sensitive areas to climate breakdown in the world.

El Salavador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala are the most exposed to floods and droughts alike, and all fall within the top 20 countries affected by climate change.

These countries have witnessed losses of between 50 and 80 percent of crop yields between 2014 and 2019. Farmers that produce basic grains are at greater risk of poverty or extreme poverty.

This series of articles has been published in partnership with Dalia Gebrial and Harpreet Kaur Paul and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in London. It first appeared in a collection titled Perspectives on a Global Green New Deal.

Unpredictable

Peasants used to rely on traditional knowledge for starting the cropping periods, but this is no longer feasible.

Unpredictable weather conditions - such as the interruption of the wet season by dry period and the rise in floods - means loss of control over growing conditions.

With 60 percent of people in the Dry Corridor relying on subsistence agriculture, those who have had their crops ruined by long standing droughts now have to look for instant, short-term jobs on a daily basis in order to survive.

Migration

Several reports have noticed a growing circulation of migrants within the Dry Corridor countries performing informal jobs.

Women tend to migrate more than men to other countries, as they face restricted access to local land and few other working alternatives, while having to continue assuming care tasks. The number of people having to migrate has increased across the world.

For Central American families, this often looks like one family member migrating to the US, while the rest stay to care for the children and elderly. These roles have traditionally been shared between men and women.

Perilous

However, as climate hazards start to deplete the means of subsistence linked to land, and hostile immigration policies making border-crossing more perilous for women, migration to North America has become predominantly male.

Even when relatives abroad manage to send stable remittances, marriages are not expected to be reunited anymore.

Families are regularly broken apart - a story told by the infamous images of children detained at the US Southern border.

This Author

Alejandro González is a Researcher at Universidad Autónoma De Madrid in Madrid, Spain.

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