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Eswatini is at high risk of natural hazards, which are expected to primarily affect the agricultural sector, through seasonal flooding and periods of drought exacerbating the country’s existing challenges of food insecurity, ability to attain development goals. Both minimum and maximum temperatures are projected to increase by as much as 1.9°C by the 2050s.1
The agricultural sector contributes nearly 11% of the country’s GDP and occupies 75% of crop land. Over the past decade, Eswatini has experienced more frequent and intense extreme weather events, including an El Niño-induced drought in 2015 and 2016, resulting in a sharp decline in crop-production levels and crop diversity. Declines in crop production are major setbacks to subsistence and commercial farmers as well as to a national economy in which agriculture ranks second only to manufacturing, increasing vulnerability for the more than 70% of the population that is reliant upon the subsistence farming. Eswatini is one of the most food insecure countries in the region with 63% of the population experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity.
Increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns and catastrophic weather events will pose health risks including increased deaths due to heat waves, and natural hazards, such as floods, vector-borne diseases such as malaria and other existing and emerging infectious diseases. Given the country’s high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, these households are also expected to be particularly vulnerable.
View the eSwatini Climate Justice infographic
View the eSwatini Climate Justice action plan