Early action key to prevent El Niño and La Niña-related crises: OCHA

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Drought associated with the El Niño phenomenon severely affected Arsi, Ethiopia in 2016. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

It's essential to "get out in front" of humanitarian crises that are fuelled by the destructive weather patterns known as El Niño and La Niña.

That's the strong view of one senior official with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), who's been working on how best to address the problem during 2018.

The El Niño and La Niña effect, describes the cyclical cooling and warming of water in the central Pacific, which can fuel devastating drought and flooding in many parts of the world.

During the last major El Niño event two years ago, 23 countries, representing 60 million people, had to ask for emergency help to deal with its effects.

Kirsten Mildren spoke to OCHA senior official, Greg Puley, who's been planning OCHA's response to the La Niña effect this year.

There's a 70 per cent chance it's going to have a profound impact – especially in the Horn of Africa region.

He began by outlining exactly how the weather patterns work.

Duration: 8'44"

Filed under Today's Features.
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