When human populations can no longer live on their land, they move, migrating to better places. Sea level rise, higher temperatures, disruption of water cycles, and increasing severity of storms are climate change impacts that will force millions of people to move from their homes.
Most populations will migrate slowly, but in the case of catastrophic events coupled with the inability to adapt, mass migration will occur. Think, New Orleans vs Somalia, where New Orleans is arguably more able to adapt to catastophic weather events than Somalia, which is dealing with millions of people migrating north and west due to climate drought. This shows there are two general types of migration - very slow, and very fast. It’s not a smooth gradient pattern where people slowly and eventually move from place to place, like Americans or Europeans do. No, rather this slow/fast pace is lumpy and jagged, and occurs in unexpected spurts at the extremes.
But what of their destinations? Are countries prepared for these sporadic influxes? In other words, what about the countries that receive these migrants? Are they prepared? A new white paper, Climate Change and Migration Dynamics, funded by the European Union and published by Migration Policy, concludes that international cooperation is needed in order to respond to mass displacements that could occur from climate changes, even in the short-term.
The paper looks at it from the point of view of countries, not from the point of view of the people. From that point of view, the authors take a look at policies that would or would not allow mass migrations within the above context of extremes. The authors split countries policies into two general categories, an obstructive approach and a constructive approach.
Obstructive policies are just that - they purposefully obstruct massive amounts of people from immigrating into their political boundaries. The United States, though relatively generous, would be in this category.
Constructive countries help people maintain their livelihoods in the face of climate change. These countries accommodate climate migrants movements as necessary. New Zealand has a limited climate migration policy, allowing up to 12,000 people from the island nation of Tuvalu to migrate in case complete inundation of the islands by sea level rise. (Note: I didn’t find a country that has very accommodating migration policies, if you know of one, please contact me).
The paper is a short read - just about 10 pages. I recommend it to my adaptation readers as an excellent source of information for international issues of immigration and human responses to climate impacts.
Source: “Climate Change and Migration Dynamics" via Migration Policy
This is such bullshit. The State Department has spent $582 million dollars (here pdf) on the Somalian famine. Where the f*ck is the money going?
“In total, 4 million people are in crisis in Somalia, with 750,000 people at risk of death in the coming four months in the absence of adequate response,” the UN’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) says.
Surely this statement alone should send shockwaves across the globe. This crisis has the potential to claim more lives than the 2005 asian tsunami, 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami COMBINED.
What’s interesting about this is that the State Dept is trying to develop a long-term fix, rather than a full-on hand-out. They’re developing a sustainable agriculture program with local farmers.
“With Feed the Future, President Obama’s initiative on food security, we are working with the Kenyan government and smallholder farmers to achieve sustainable, long-term and life-saving agriculture development.” More below…
About the Author: Dr. Rajiv Shah is the Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Earlier this week, I visited the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, where thousands of exhausted and starving refugees have sought food, water and medical care after fleeing…
Thirty four percent of all garbage in the UAE is food, according to a risky new article published today in Gulf News: Breaking the Fast: What a Waste. Compare that to the US, where it’s 14% (an incredibly unacceptable number).
Very important note: Municipal waste (the chart above) in the US makes up around 25% of what’s in a landfill. The other 75% is industrial, commercial, constructions, hazardous, mining, etc. So, that’s 25% municipal waste, and only 14% of that is food. On a grand scale, that’s just around 3% of total waste is food in the US.
But, in the UAE, there is barely any commercial waste. They don’t mine, there are no old buildings to tear down and throw away, and there’s no mining, barely any wood, landscape trimmings, nor haz-mats to speak of. Just packaging, food, and some building materials used during construction, which has halted due to economic slowdown. So, food does account for a full 34% of the gross waste in the UAE. And that’s shameful.
Here’s a breakdown of US waste. I’ll post UAE’s if I find it later today.
I’m glad the statedept is donating to groups; BUT they’ve/we’ve spent $459 million dollars. For what? Show us what it bought!
More than 11.5 million people — primarily in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia — are in need of emergency assistance in the Horn of Africa. The United States is concerned about the high malnutrition rates in the region — particularly in southern and central Somalia and the attendant Somali refugee population. A large-scale multi-donor intervention is underway to prevent the further decline of an already dire situation, but there will be no quick fix. The United States is one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to the region, providing approximately $459 million this fiscal year to help those in need. This funding supports humanitarian assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other drought affected populations, and builds near and longer term food security. Because emergency assistance will not solve the underlying long-term problems in the region,… more »
I wrote: “$400 million? Who the eff is running this? Why so damn inefficient? The lack of accountability is infuriating. Four hundred million dollars, plus NGO, UN, Int’l, and local aid and y’all can’t get this right? AND you’re asking for more? FIX. IT.”
I cannot let this stand unanswered. I want an answer from the State Department. What has the US accomplished in Somalia with $400 f*cking million dollars? Who is on point during this crisis? Hillary fires off strongly worded letters, and we read on the State Dept tumblr they’ve spent $400 million on absolutely nothing.
The US is incredibly under-prepared for foreseeable crises. How shamefully embarrassing.
(Folks, I’ll update if the State Dept responds…)
More: Crisis in the Horn of Africa
Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued the following press statement in response to the declaration of famine in Somalia and drought in the Horn of Africa:
“The United States is deeply concerned by the humanitarian emergency in…
Follow up to my previous post: Starvation returns to the Horn of Africa, extreme drought, high food prices, rape. The Economist and Al Jazeera are vigilantly covering the devastating drought in east Africa - the worst since the 1960s effecting Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Aid groups can’t get in sufficiently to provide food, water, and shelter. Refugee camps, it seems, are run by militant rebel groups.
Some rebel groups have cut deals with al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab to allow starving refugees cross borders.
The U.S. State Department has issued a strongly worded letter to al-Shabaab to allow foreign aid into Somalia. Update below
Who is to blame? An oscillation in the climate in the form of La Niña—a cooling of the surface temperature across the equatorial eastern-central Pacific, causing big changes in airflow and weather patterns—is likely to have contributed to the droughts.
But humans too play a part. “This is a preventable disaster and solutions are possible,” says Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s humanitarian director. It is no coincidence that the worst-affected areas are also the poorest in the region. Long-term investment could have made villages and towns more resilient.
Update: US Dept. of State sending food aid.
This week, USAID activated a disaster assistance response team (DART) operating out of Ethiopia and Kenya to work with the World Food Program, UNICEF, and over a dozen other organizations to coordinate emergency efforts to relieve the crisis. So far this year, the United States has provided more than $366 million to respond to the drought in the Horn of Africa, and continues to explore additional ways to assist those in need.
Read the Press release, here.