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Mega Disasters Uproot 144 Million Africans in 4 Years

Posted by feww on May 26, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC EVENTS
MAJOR DISASTERS
MASS DISPLACEMENTS
SCENARIOS 444, 101, 070, 066, 023, 09, 04, 03
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Extreme climatic events, related conflicts displace 144 million in the Horn of Africa

Some 144 million people have been displaced  in the Horn of Africa region between 2008 and 2012 due to the mega disasters caused by climate change, according to a joint report by the Institute for Environment and Human Security of United Nations University, and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

The new report by said thousands of people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of being displaced across borders as extreme weather increases in frequency.

“As extreme weather increases in intensity thousands are at risk of being displaced. Many of the displaced receive some assistance, but the support varies. There is a need for more predictive protection and assistance. We must start in the hardest affected regions,” according to NRC spokesperson.

famine in Africa - Kevin Carter
Sudanese Famine 1993. A vulture patiently awaits a starving Sudanese child to die, dated March 1993. Pulitzer Prize winning photo by the deceased photojournalist Kevin Carter.

The majority of those displaced in the four-year period fled from floods, storms and wildfires and other impacts of climate change, said  the report.

Most of the victims remained in their own countries as internally displaced people, but many fled across the borders to neighboring countries.

“Drought forces people to leave their homes in Somalia and Ethiopia and flee to Kenya, Egypt or Yemen. Most of those fleeing are pastoralists, small scale farmers and agro-pastoralists,” said the report.

The impact of climate-related disasters are intensified by ethnic and political discriminations, according to the report, which cites  armed conflict and lack of humanitarian access in Somalia as major contributing  factors  to worsening conditions caused by the drought and famine.

People are forced to cross borders when Extreme Weather Events flood their habitat, or destroy their crops, said the report.

“Individuals leave for another country for a variety of reasons, but in many cases the driving factor is related to the loss and deterioration of livelihood,” said representative from UNU.

 

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