The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) launched its annual publication on internal displacement, citing climate change and related natural hazards, such as drought, sea-level rise and desertification, as increasingly important factors causing internal displacement.
12 May 2015: The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) launched its annual publication on internal displacement, citing climate change and related natural hazards, such as drought, sea-level rise and desertification, as increasingly important factors causing internal displacement.
The Global Report on Internal Displacement (GRID) is published annually by the NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The 2016 report shows that more than 19 million people were forced from their homes in 2015 by natural disasters, and that most of these displacements, 14.7 million, occurred due to weather-related hazards.
GRID 2016 reports that displacement in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has greatly increased since the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in 2010 and the rise of the Islamic State. The region saw almost 4.8 million new displacements in 2015, significantly more than in all other regions of the world combined, with Yemen, Syria and Iraq accounting for over half of the global total. Outside the Middle East, the countries with the highest numbers of people fleeing were Ukraine, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Afghanistan, Colombia, the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.
Launching the report, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) head Robert Glasser said that a strong El Niño effect was linked to the record number of droughts, widespread flooding and 90 major tropical storms in 2015, observing that these weather events demonstrated the growing importance of climate change as a driver of disaster risk.
In an opinion piece published on the eve of the launch, Glasser called for addressing fundamental issues of poverty, poor governance, land use, human rights violations and social exclusion, in the interests of disaster risk reduction (DRR). Quoting NRC Secretary-General Jan Egeland, he noted that displacement ostensibly caused by conflict can be traced back to root causes like drought, citing the examples of famine in Sudan and two tropical cyclones in Yemen that had preceded conflict and mass displacements.
Glasser highlighted the commitments made by the international community in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which was adopted by UN Member States in March 2015, and which includes guiding principles on empowerment, participation and special attention to people who are disproportionately affected by disasters, especially the poorest. He called for embedding disaster risk management (DRM) in the culture of governance, saying this action will be essential for the achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). [UN Press Release] [UNISDR Press Release] [UNISDR Head Opinion Piece] [GRID Report Website]