Issack Hassan lives in a migrant camp in Baidoa, Somalia, and is one of over a million people who have been displaced since January due to five consecutive catastrophic rainy seasons.
Hassan, 82, stated that due to Somalia’s worst drought in 40 years, “people were weak from hunger, so we had to flee for our life.” But he was unable to avoid tragedy.
In a video interview released by the U.N. refugee agency, he stated, “My wife died of starvation here, and I felt powerless.”
The U.N. International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that every year, 22 million people like Hassan are uprooted due to climate-related calamities.
On islands or near coastlines that are losing land to rising seas, some people once lived. As the permafrost thaws, others in the Arctic ran from crumbling cliffs.
When people are uprooted, experts claim that they are more vulnerable to violence, hunger, and disease. Furthermore, by the middle of the century, it is anticipated that 143 million people would have been displaced, as climate change is causing an increase in the world’s extreme weather.
Developing nations are requesting more assistance from wealthier nations at the COP27 climate meeting in Egypt this month due to the rising need.
To prepare for extreme weather, some people are looking for extra funding. Additionally, they want wealthy countries to pay for current losses and damages.
Caroline Dumas, the IOM’s special envoy for migration and climate action, stated that during the U.N. meeting, “any government impacted by climate change migrants may highlight the subject.”
The majority of persons who are displaced continue to live in their home countries, allowing their governments to claim them as citizens. However, individuals who cross an international border risk having no safety net because climate migrants are not considered refugees under the terms of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Emtithal Mahmoud, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, declared, “I’m a refugee, former refugee.” The poet who is Sudanese-American and whose family was affected by the Sudanese civil war told that she has direct experience of the damage that severe weather can cause.
She said, “There’s something I know about drought.” She continued, “For us, drought kills the plants, it kills everything, and when the rain comes, your homes are washed away.”