In Nigeria, an armed conflict has affected the country for the last decade, killing tens of thousands of people and disrupting farming and trade. The insurgency is fueled by dissatisfaction with the government, which has failed to create an inclusive, accountable, and transparent society.
The region around the Lake Chad Basin is coping with a deteriorating security situation, and the influx of refugees is putting enormous strain on its infrastructure and essential services. Meanwhile, the insecurity in northern Nigeria has disrupted traditional cross-border trade and has affected market prices in neighboring countries.
Northern Nigeria is the breadbasket for the region, and its poor rains and large-scale displacement have put the 2014/2015 harvest at risk. Drought has forced livestock herders to migrate southwards, and these migrations have led to further displacement of communities, increased communal clashes, and even famine. So far, over 30 million people have fled the Lake Chad region, searching for greener pastures and water elsewhere.
Close to 3 million people have been displaced from their homes in Chad. They now face an acute shortage of living facilities, such as clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. In addition, they have lost their livelihoods, with most people relying on fishing and farming for a living. These conditions have left people vulnerable and prone to violence.
In 2003, Chad began oil production, accounting for 93% of its exports. But oil prices have plummeted in recent years, making Chad particularly vulnerable. In addition, Chad relies heavily on agriculture, which must be redeveloped into sustainable farming to ensure food security and employment.
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has added to the humanitarian crisis in Chad. By 2022, an estimated 5.5 million people will require humanitarian aid in Chad. In addition to insecurity and conflict, Chad has suffered from heavy floods and epidemics. Children remain at risk of malnutrition and are vulnerable to recruitment by non-state armed groups. Further, access to essential services remains very poor and inadequate, preventing them from gaining a livelihood.
In recent years, forced migration has been an essential component of Niger’s migration profile. Due to the deteriorating political situation in its neighboring countries, internal displacement has become a more pressing issue. As of April 2019, Niger was hosting 380,135 persons of concern, and there were 156,000 internally displaced persons. Increasing violence in the country’s border areas has contributed to the displacement of Nigeriens.
Climate change drives temperatures in the Sahel to 1.5 times the global average. This region is already experiencing an unprecedented number of displaced people, and dwindling resources and increasing violence are already impacting these individuals. To help them cope, UNHCR has launched initiatives such as the Ouallam market garden, a program that teaches women irrigation methods, which minimize evaporation and help conserve scarce water resources.
In the context of climate change, internal migration patterns in Niger are expected to shift northwards. A rapidly growing urban population seeks opportunities in the north, and international migration routes connect Nigeria to the Maghreb and Europe. In addition, many refugees have reestablished their new homes. If these migration patterns continue, Niger will likely be the most affected country in Africa in terms of climate refugeeism.
Despite climate change, Malian refugees have remained in their homes. They have responded to the challenges of climate change by bringing indigenous innovations to help conserve soil water and keep crops cool. A strong sense of community has played a vital role in their survival. Those who are resilient extend a helping hand to other communities. This story is a poignant reminder of the importance of local knowledge in addressing climate change.
The UNHCR operates in Mali with a budget of USD 48 million for 2020. Its Country Office is in Bamako, with Sub-Offices in Gao and Mopti. It runs camps for internally displaced people and refugees and works to enforce the Kampala Convention and train authorities on international protection. The UNHCR has registered over 1,100 refugee children in schools in Mali and has funded more than 600 families.
Most Malian refugees are herders, bringing their livestock with them. As a result of climate change, the demand for natural resources has increased. Firewood collection, water usage for farming, and domestic purposes harm the environment. Climate refugees also bring solutions to these problems. Their home countries have dealt with the consequences of climate change and are now looking to apply those lessons to their new lives.
The climate in Afghanistan is changing, leading to increased refugeeism. A prolonged drought and the Covid-19 virus are two of the many problems that affect the country. Many farmers’ livelihoods are at stake, forcing them to abandon their land. In addition, the water table is receding, making it impossible to support a human population. In addition, transport between towns will be difficult, and drinking water will become challenging to obtain.
While Afghanistan’s population understands changes in nature, they do not understand the ramifications of climate change. Many Afghans are not even aware of climate change and its science. However, the international community needs to support the Afghans in adapting to the occurring changes. The country must decide how it will use the international community’s aid.
As the world warms, the Philippines is becoming increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather, including typhoons and sea-level rise. These factors can lead to urban flooding. The most vulnerable will be the poor, whose living standards and economic mobility are less susceptible than those in more economically developed areas.
The Philippine government is trying to fix this problem with its ‘One Safe Future’ program, which moves disaster-affected families to safe, rehabilitated sites in cities. But these displaced families face complex challenges, ranging from displacement to forced relocation. In the meantime, the Philippines’ One Safe Future program aims to relocate low-income families in urban areas where opportunity is scarce. This program was put in place after the massive devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda, which flooded Metro Manila to a depth of twenty to thirty feet. This program also provides the government with a platform to humanely demolish structures that can no longer withstand natural disasters.
Despite its small population, the Philippines experiences large-scale internal migration, especially rural-urban migration. The country also experiences significant internal displacement caused by natural disasters, primarily due to the conflict in Mindanao. The country is located in the typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it vulnerable to climate change. According to the International Organization for Migration, the Philippines is the second most affected country globally when it comes to internal disaster displacement. In fact, in the last five years, the Philippines has consistently ranked first or second globally in this category.