Climate related disasters displaced 12.6 mn people globally in past 6 months: Report

at 4:40 pm
climate disaster
(Source: @ifrc)

New Delhi (NVI): At least 12.6 million people have been displaced by climate and weather-related disasters around the world in the last six months, according a new IFRC report.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) report also stated that the figure of 12.6 million people includes 2.3 million others displayed by conflict during the same period.

The remaining 10.3 million are displaced due to disasters triggered by natural hazards, mainly related to climate and weather extremes, but also including a small number of geophysical hazard events, particularly earthquakes.

The report— Responding to Disasters and Displacement in a Changing Climate, comes hot on the heels of a record-breaking 26 climate-related disaster response operations launched across Asia and the Pacific in 2020, IFRC said in a statement.

Helen Brunt, Asia Pacific Migration and Displacement Coordinator, IFRC said, “Over 80 per cent of these forced displacements have been caused by disasters, most of which are triggered by climate and weather extremes.”

“Asia suffers much more than any other region from climate disaster-related displacements. These upheavals are taking a terrible toll on some of the poorest communities already reeling from the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Brunt added.

According to the report, the COVID-19 has complicated the provision humanitarian support to displaced communities, with greater space needed when evacuating, along with increased safety protocols.

Brunt also informed that, “We are seeing an alarming trend of people displaced by more extreme weather events such as Typhoon Goni, the world’s most ferocious storm last year, that smashed into the Philippines. Three storms hit the Philippines in as many weeks, leaving over 3 million people destitute.”

“We need greater action and urgent investment to reduce internal displacement caused by the rising risk of disasters,” she added.

IFRC report analyses climate-related displacement as well as a post-earthquake response across 8 countries, examining response by National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in coordination with governments and other agencies.

It finds that displacement disproportionately affects already marginalised and at-risk groups including women, children, the elderly, people with a disability, migrants and refugees.

The report further informed that when disasters destroy villages and entire neighbourhoods, people also face long-term housing, land and property issues.

“Women and children are also confronted with increased risks of violence due to climate-related displacement,” IFRC said.

In this regard, Brunt said, “Investment in long-term solutions is urgently needed before disasters force more people away from their homes, livelihoods and communities.”