Whether it’s bringing too much rain or none at all, El Niño often marks unusual weather. But this year’s El Niño was more than unusual.
It’s over now, but the impacts of the latest El Niño cycle were so severe they’ll stay with communities for years: fuelling the highest global temperatures in more than 130 years, forcing thousands to flee their scorched or flooded lands, causing major crop losses, impacting water supplies and leaving millions food insecure.
Take a look at the impact across some of the worst affected countries.
1.4 million people in Angola - over half of them children - are affected by El Niño induced drought. As food becomes desperately scarce, parents are struggling to give their children enough nutritious meals, leaving almost 96,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
It’s a dangerous time for young children like Marcelino. He almost didn’t make his first birthday. Months of drought worsened by El Niño robbed his family of their food supply and left him wasting away with severe malnutrition.
“He got so sick,” says his mother Ndahalouan. “I thought he was going to die.”
If she hadn’t brought him to their local health clinic in southern Angola, he might have. But after days of treatment with therapeutic milk, Marcelino began to put on weight.