Media CenterCreation of a Loss and Damage Fund at COP27 is a Victory for Those on the Edge of the Climate Crisis, Says Catholic Relief Services

Photo by Petterik Wiggers for CRS

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Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(978) 884-0003

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Nov. 22, 2022 –  Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president of Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement at the conclusion of the COP27 United Nations climate change summit in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt:

“Not only is the creation of a loss and damage fund at COP27 a moral victory, but it represents a symbolic one for all the countries hanging on the edge of climate disaster. Countries like Somalia and Afghanistan are drying up amid record droughts. Countries like Sierra Leone and Pakistan are washing away amid history-making flooding. Countries like Honduras and Madagascar are being battered by back-to-back storms. In all these countries and over 100 more, CRS staff and partners are witnessing the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable. Science tells us that these types of disasters will keep getting worse. That’s why the loss and damage decision is so important. For the first time, the international community recognizes the toll the climate crisis is taking on those  countries least responsible for the problem to begin with. The fact that developed nations are accepting their moral responsibility is progress. After the details get worked out in these next few years, we expect the fund to support the most vulnerable communities from descending further into poverty.

However, equally pressing are international efforts to curb emissions. We can only hope that world leaders especially the United States will drive that conversation forward. As one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, the actions of the U.S. matter. What we do, or don’t do, in the next few years will have an enormous impact on history. As the Holy Father has said, ‘Every one of us can play a valuable role if  all of us join this journey today. Not tomorrow, today. Because the future is constructed today, and it is not constructed alone, but in community and harmony.’”

To read more about CRS’ climate change policy recommendations, click here. To read CRS’ Madagascar case study on loss and damage, click here.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
November 22, 2022

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More