Photo by Ritu Raj Konwar via IDMC
A new report released last week by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) shows that a whopping 32.4 million people were forced to flee their homes last year, and 98% of that displacement was due to climate and weather related events. While displacement occurred disproportionately in Asia and Africa, rich countries were also affected – and there were particularly high numbers in the U.S.
Photo by NRC/Farzana Wahidy via IDMC
1.3 million people were displaced in Asia and west and central Africa in 2012. Flood disasters in India and Nigeria accounted for 41% of global displacement. In India alone, monsoon floods displaced 6.9 million and in Nigeria, 6.1 million were displaced. Over the past five years, 81% of global displacement occurred in Asia. But in 2012, Africa had a record high for the region, with 8.2 million people displaced – over four times more than any of the previous four years. In the US, over 900,000 people were forced to flee their homes due to climate and weather related events.
What accounts for these radical figures? The report highlights a 2012 special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which found that there is evidence to support the claim that “disasters associated with climate extremes influence population mobility and relocation, affecting host and origin communities.” The report indicates that human-caused climate change is affecting “natural” disasters, and the recent increase in numbers of displaced people in the world may be evidence of that.
Via The Guardian