Climate Change May Trigger Migrant Crisis In South Asia

A study, titled ‘Climate Change Knows No Borders’, has predicted that the sudden change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns will escalate migration uncontrollably in South Asia.
The study advises all the South Asian countries, especially India, to start making preparations for tackling the migrant crisis in the coming days. The study, launched in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka ahead of Global Forum on Migration and Development, says that the policy makers in the region should make internal and external assessments before formulating policies to tackle the crisis.
The study – jointly conducted by Action Aid, Climate Action Network South Asia and Bread for the World – expresses serious concern over India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan’s ill preparedness for tackling the pressure of migrants.
Talking to the local media in Dhaka, Action Aid’s Global Lead on Climate Change Harjeet Singh recently said: “South Asia region is particularly vulnerable to climate change events like drought, heat waves, cyclones, heavy rainfall, floods etc. South Asian countries need support from developed world. The UN’s Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage must work to ensure legal protection for people who are forced to migrate or are displaced by climate change.”
According to Singh, India – the largest country in the region – will have to take the extra burden (in case of escalation of migration) as people from neighbouring countries will try to take shelter in different Indian cities. He stressed that India should be ready with a plan or else the country would be in deep trouble.
Singh stressed: “South Asian governments unfortunately don’t see climate induced migration as an issue. SAARC is dysfunctional, India should take a lead.” He recalled that the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) recently prepared a data according to which more than 46 million people were displaced by sudden-onset disasters in South Asia between 2008 and 2013, and India had been ranked the highest within around 26 million people displaced during this period. “The sudden-onset disaster doesn’t include draught, seal level rise,” he told the press.
As far as the South Asian countries are concerned, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh experienced one of their worse droughts in 2016 and more than 330 million people were affected in India alone. For his part, Climate Action Network South Asia’s Director Sanjay Vashist said: “We urgently need more cross-border efforts to help people cope with the new normal of climate disasters and protect people who are forced to migrate.”


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