Mercy Corps works in places characterized by fragility and impacted by conflict, where the impacts of climate change are devastating and where communities are ill-equipped to cope, adapt and thrive. The communities where we work face both the extreme impacts of climate change and other root causes of fragility, including local and national level conflicts, weak institutions and poor governance. Through our programs, advocacy and research, we work to implement innovative program solutions, influence policies and generate evidence to overcome the barriers fragility and conflict place on our work.

Mercy Corps contributes the following solutions in support of communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.


Mercy Corps is supporting the evolution of fit-for-purpose tools to better help policymakers and implementers address interconnected climate and conflict risks. We developed a Climate-Conflict Assessment which draws out the two-way dynamics between climate change and conflict. The findings from this assessment identify entry-points and approaches which can interrupt the cycle of fragility by:

  • Identifying contextualized pathways between climate change and conflict
  • Designing programs to simultaneously address climate change and conflict drivers
  • Informing policy and decision making and the design of integrated strategies with broad resilience or peace goals
  • Supporting climate sensitivity in peace and conflict efforts
  • Supporting peace-positive climate adaptation

We have piloted this tool in Uganda and pilots in Mali and Niger are currently underway.


Mercy Corps has been working at the intersection of climate change, fragility, and conflict for over a decade. Through these efforts we have found that policymakers, practitioners, and experts lack evidence on the strategies or interventions that effectively address climate-conflict dynamics or how fragility and conflict inhibit climate adaptation. We will contribute to strengthening the evidence base by making climate change and conflict a priority theme for our climate research agenda. One of the core questions underpinning our research on this theme will be What works to reduce climate-related conflicts that also strengthens communities’ adaptation or resilience to climate shocks?”

In our latest paper Adapting to Adversity: Challenges and Opportunities for Climate Action in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations, we sought to understand the limits fragility and conflict place on adaptation and showcase the promising practices our country and program teams are implementing in their climate programs. Further areas of research we will explore include the mechanisms through which climate change increases the risk of conflict, and the gender dimensions of climate change and conflict.


Mercy Corps seek to change the policies and practices of governments and international organizations to support greater climate action in fragile contexts. Over the last year, we convened policy roundtable discussions in Europe and the United States to generate new insights and ideas for effectively delivering climate finance in fragile contexts. One of our takeaways from these engagements is that the severity of the climate crisis is reigniting collaboration across the humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and climate change communities and that there is growing enthusiasm among this community of actors to collaborate.

In addition to raising our voice to support calls for more adaptation finance, Mercy Corps will continue to convene and participate in discussions with donors and implementing partners to identify barriers to investing in fragile contexts and identify concrete actions to close this gap.