Displaced people eating at the accommodation center in Tica, Mozambique, after their villages had been flooded due to the passage of Cyclone Eloise, in Nhamatanda district, central Mozambique | Photo: ARCHIVE / EPA / ANDRE CATUEIRA
Displaced people eating at the accommodation center in Tica, Mozambique, after their villages had been flooded due to the passage of Cyclone Eloise, in Nhamatanda district, central Mozambique | Photo: ARCHIVE / EPA / ANDRE CATUEIRA

The director of the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Coordination Office for the Mediterranean has denounced that disasters were responsible for 30.7 million newly internally displaced people in 149 countries this year alone. More than 98% of these movements were the result of risks linked to meteorological phenomena.

Laurence Hart, director of the UN's International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, said on October 21 that disasters were "responsible for 30.7 million newly internally displaced people in 149 countries this year alone."

"More than 98% of these movements were the result of risks linked to meteorological phenomena," Hart noted, speaking at the meeting "Climate Displacement", sponsored by the Italian Geographic Society as part of the Festival of Democracy.

"As the World Bank reported, if action isn't taken on the climate by 2050, climate change could lead to a large number of people on the move, in a range between 48 to 216 million people within their countries," he also said.

IOM's strategy on migrants and climate

"Since 2015, significant progress has been made in integrating into international efforts migration in the context of climate change and environmental degradation," Hart said.

"IOM recently developed an institutional strategy on migration and climate change" that "highlights three key priorities for the agency over the next decade, from 2021 to 2030," he explained.

"First of all, developing solutions for people who intend to move, managing migration and promoting approaches that facilitate safe and legal migration."

The second priority is "developing solutions for people who are already on the move, by assisting and protecting migrants and displaced people" who are travelling due to climate change.

Finally, "developing solutions so that people stay, facing the negative effects of climate change and stimulating the community's resilience," Hart concluded.

 

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