Geneva: Underlining the clear link between climate-related emergencies and forced displacement, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Sunday (November 7) implored leaders to change words to action and step up support to mitigate loss and damage due to climate change in the most vulnerable regions. As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) enters its final week and focuses on adaptation, UNHCR called for more assistance to the countries and communities most impacted by the climate emergency yet most neglected in terms of support, UNHCR said in a statement.
The focus needs to be channelled to community-based adaptation projects to help the millions grappling with the catastrophic effects of climate change, many of whom have been displaced, often multiple times, the UN agency said.
Most of the people we support are from countries on the front lines of the climate emergency or they are being hosted in states equally impacted, said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. They face climate-related disasters like floods, droughts and desertification. This destroys livelihoods, stokes conflict, and has forced people to move. We urgently need new thinking, innovation, funding from the wealthiest, and political will just to contain the situation – let alone improve things.
In Glasgow, UNHCR’s Special Advisor on Climate Action, Andrew Harper, is highlighting the impact of climate change on the displaced. Ninety per cent of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate and 70 per cent of the internally displaced are from vulnerable countries least ready to adapt. Millions more are forced from their homes every year in disasters. Andrew Harper will highlight how climate change is already amplifying vulnerabilities in many regions that host displaced people.
In Afghanistan, rising temperatures and droughts have exacerbated the effects of 40 years of war, worsening food shortages in a country with over 3.5 million people internally displaced. In Mozambique, the insurgency has forced 730,000 to flee as the country reels from cyclones, the UN agency said. In the Sahel, temperatures are rising 1.5 times faster than the rest of the world, and climate-related impacts are increasing competition for resources in areas where armed groups already exploit weak governance, poverty, and ethnic tensions.
UNHCR works in 130 countries delivering protection and assistance and supporting displaced and host communities to adapt and create solutions in the increasingly inhospitable climate, the statement added.
We operate in many areas already experiencing the devastating impact of the 1.5-degree temperature rise, Andrew Harper said. We can’t wait for more COPs and more unfulfilled commitments. The displaced and their hosts need help now – to build resilience to resist the looming increase in extreme weather events.
Filippo Grandi added: “Forced displacement is among the most devastating human consequences of climate change and shows the deep inequalities in our world. Partnering with those already suffering the effects of climate change, especially those uprooted from home, is critical to successful solutions. But they need international support, and they need it now.”
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NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.