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UNHCR Reports on Climate Change, Disaster, Displacement and Migration in Africa

21dic_09_05December 2009: The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has published a working paper titled "Climate change, disaster, displacement and migration: initial evidence from Africa," based on evidence from Burundi and Somalia, which are among the most vulnerable countries in the world.

The paper indicates that the frequency of climate-related disasters has increased in the past two decades and that, in 2008, over 26.5 million people were affected by droughts and over 20 million people were displaced by climate disasters. The paper emphasizes challenges - including food, water, shelter, healthcare and sexual and gender-based violence - faced by people displaced by climate-related disasters and conflict.

 

The paper, written by Vikram Kolmannskog, also underscores that disasters and environmental degradation can trigger displacement and conflicts, which can further accentuate environmental degradation. Somalia, a water-stressed, low-lying and war-torn country, is facing its worst humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by food insecurity. Most Somalis are pastoralists and climate change is increasing competition over fertile land and resources.[The Working Paper]