In 2015, more than 19.2 million people fled disasters in 113 countries. Disasters displace three to ten times more people than conflict and war worldwide.
The basics of climate change, disasters and displacement
As climate change continues, it will likely lead to more frequent and severe natural hazards. The impact will be heavy. Climate change causes poverty and food shortages, and forces even higher numbers of men, women and children to flee their homes.
On average, 26 million people are displaced by disasters such as floods and storms every year. That's one person forced to flee every second.
Our climate change and disaster work
NRC prioritises the rights and protection of displaced people in disasters.
- We protect displaced people during and after disasters.
- We prevent displacement by building resilience in countries at risk.
- We deploy experts to strengthen the capacity of UN, regional and national partners who work on reducing disaster risks and adapting to climate change.
- We expand and share our knowledge through research and analysis.
- We achieve long-term policy solutions through advocacy.
On the ground
NRC works to prevent disaster and climate displacement, and strengthen resilience among displaced communities.
Our climate and disaster work on the ground falls within three pillars:
- Short- and long-term environmental impact assessments.
- Design and use of programmes that reduce negative environmental impact created by displaced populations and humanitarian aid.
- Community guidance on assessing environmental risks, adapting coping strategies and developing sustainable environmental practices.
In all our projects, we take care to limit our environmental footprint.
Read more about how NRC cares for the environment.
Data and research
Our International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is a global leader on figures related to disasters, natural hazards, climate change and displacement. Through its statistical calculations and patterns, IDMC can predict numbers of people at risk of disaster and climate change displacement in years to come.
Our strong data collections allow us to collaborate with governments and organisations to develop strategies that help communities at risk.
Learn more about IDMC's research.
Advocating for people displaced by climate change and disasters
The numbers speak for themselves. Policymakers, humanitarian and development organisations alike need to address, prevent and lessen the fatal impact of climate change.
NRC shares our successes and lessons learned with the broader humanitarian, disaster and climate change community, and stands up for those displaced by disaster and climate. We advocate for protection and assistance to become central components of disaster risk management, climate change adaptation and development planning. We work to influence global and regional policies so that they reflect these concerns.
NRC also participates in the implementation of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda. Here, we explore what happens when people displaced by disasters and climate change move across national borders.
Deploying our experts
When a natural disaster strikes, our experts deploy at a moment's notice. Where climate-related events might force people to flee, we send specialists to help them prepare.
NORCAP, our stand-by capacity roster, deploys our experts to the UN, regional institutions and national authorities. A number specialise in climate change adaptation, meteorology and hydrology, as well as reducing and managing disaster risk.
Our experts respond quickly to natural disasters, or work on improving local systems to help communities prepare for, and prevent, climate-related events harmful to their livelihoods.
Read more about our expert deployments.
Collaborating with our partners allows us to better serve those displaced by climate and disaster.
Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility
Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED) http://www.raednetwork.org/about.html
Institut d’études politiques (Sciences Po)
International Organisation for Migration
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations University
World Meteorological Organisation
Through our NORCAP deployments, we also partner with a number of UN agencies: the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, WFP AND UNHCR.
"Communication is key to protection"
“The most important thing is to make sure people get information about what, when and where. That takes a way a lot of frustration”, says NORCAP protection expert, Helene Ruud. She recently finished her first mission to the World Food Programme, in Haiti.
Fear of increased emergency in Mocoa
The upcoming rainy season in Mocoa, Colombia, could increase the vulnerability of women and girls in the area, fears GenCap adviser, Devanna de la Puente. Heavy rains and mudslides resulted in over 300 deaths in Mocoa earlier this month. Women and children are in particular need of help and attention.