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Climate change may increase conflict deaths, says IMF

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JOHANNESBURG: Climate change is likely to worsen conflicts in fragile and war-torn states, resulting in higher death rates and greatly reduced GDP, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report on Wednesday (Aug 30).

The World Bank each year revises a list of countries classed as “fragile and conflict-afflicted states,” of which there are currently 39, and 21 are in Africa. Wednesday’s report covers all 61 countries that have been on the list since 2006.

It found that climate shocks do not cause conflicts, but they worsen existing unrest and exacerbate other underlying fragilities, such as hunger and poverty.

Deaths from conflict as a share of the population could increase by close to 10 per cent in fragile countries by 2060, the IMF said, adding that climate change could also push an additional 50 million people in fragile states into hunger by 2060.

Even though evidence of climate change is mounting after record temperatures across the world over recent months, the political will to take action has been eroded by economic weakness.

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