Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some 22 million displaced by natural disasters in 2013, UN-backed report reveals

UN, 17 September 2014 – A new United Nations-backed report launched today reveals that 22 million people worldwide were displaced in 2013 by disasters sparked largely by earthquakes or climate- and weather-related events – almost three times more than by conflict in the same year. The report, Global Estimates 2014: people displaced by disasters, conducted by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), shows that the risk of displacement due to disasters has more than doubled over the last four decades–largely due to the growth and concentration of urban populations, particularly in vulnerable countries.

“This increasing trend will continue as more and more people live and work in hazard-prone areas. It is expected to be aggravated in the future by the impacts of climate change,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, at a Headquarters conference. Launching the report alongside Mr. Egeland, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the report was “extremely timely” as it highlights the need for early warning systems and emergency evacuations in today’s world of increasing and intensifying disasters. “The numbers of people who need humanitarian assistance, and the cost of helping them, are skyrocketing. We need to shift our focus to prevention and preparedness in close cooperation with national partners,” said Mr. Eliasson. The report calls for action to be taken to reduce disaster risk and to help communities adapt to changing and more unpredictable weather patterns, to prevent further displacement.
  According to the report, both wealthy and poorer countries are affected, although developing countries bear the brunt, accounting for more than 85 per cent of displacement. But as in previous years the worst affected was Asia, where 19 million people, or 87.1 per cent of the global total, were displaced. In the Philippines, typhoon Haiyan alone displaced 4.1 million people, a million more than in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Oceania combined. 

Seasonal floods also caused significant displacement in sub-Saharan Africa, most notably in Niger, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan – countries with highly vulnerable populations who are also affected by conflict and drought.
Africa’s population is predicted to double by 2050 therefore displacement risk is expected to increase faster than in any other region in the world.
The extent to which populations in the most developed countries are exposed to hazards also led to some of the world’s largest displacements. Typhoon Man-yi in Japan displaced 260,000 people and tornadoes in the United States state of Oklahoma 218,500.
As the world gears up to solidify a post-2015 development agenda, there will also be an opportunity to include the needs and challenges of internally displaced people in negotiations.
“As we prepare for the [Secretary-General’s] climate summit next week the devastating impact of disasters and the massive displacement we see as a result, highlight the need for strong and decisive action to tackle the catastrophic threat of climate change,” Mr. Eliasson said.


  1. Mexique: la tempête tropicale Polo se transforme en ouragan....

    Aussitôt après le passage de l'ouragan Odile, le Mexique est de nouveau menacé par Polo, une tempête tropicale qui s'est transformée mercredi soir en ouragan de catégorie 1 le long de la côte pacifique, ont indiqué les services de météorologie mexicains.
    "Polo, qui est désormais un ouragan de catégorie 1, se trouve à 290 km au sud de Manzanillo", une ville portuaire de l'ouest, a annoncé Conagua sur Twitter. Cette nouvelle manace intervient alors qu'Odile a laissé un paysage de désolation en Basse Californie (nord), où 5.000 touristes ont déjà été évacués par pont aérien. Mercredi, les écoles sont restées fermées dans plusieurs villages de bord de mer. Si le passage d'Odile n'a pas causé de pertes humaines, l'ouragan a provoqué de graves dégâts dans des localités du sud de la péninsule, privées d'électricité, d'eau potable, de communications téléphoniques et d'essence. (Belga) .

  2. Polo becomes hurricane off Mexico's Pacific Coast...

    (Reuters) - Tropical storm Polo became a hurricane off Mexico's Pacific coast on Wednesday night, the U.S. National Hurricane Centre said, with maximum sustained winds of almost 75 miles per hour (120 kph) expected to strengthen.

    Polo was 180 miles (290 km) south of Manzanillo port on Wednesday evening and moving west north west at 10 mph (17 kph) along the coast. The NHC said that any deviation to the north could bring stronger winds to the coast.

    About 25,000 tourists were also still trapped on the Baja California peninsula two days after tropical Storm Odile on Monday felled trees, buffeted homes and business and smashed shops open to looters.


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