Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Disasters uproot 144 mln people in Horn of Africa in 4 years: report

23 May 2014, 08:00

Nairobi - About 144 million people have been displaced in the Horn of Africa region between 2008 and 2012 by sudden-onset disasters around the world, a joint report launched in Nairobi on Thursday revealed.

The new report by the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said thousands of people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of being displaced across borders as extreme weather increases in frequency.

"As extreme weather increases in intensity thousands are at risk of being displaced. Many of the displaced receive some assistance, but the support varies. There is a need for more predictive protection and assistance. We must start in the hardest affected regions," Nina M. Birkeland of the NRC said in Nairobi.

The report said the vast majority of those displaced in the past four years fled from floods, storms and wildfires and others effects of climate change. Most remain in their countries as internally displaced people, but many also flee across the borders to other countries.

The report called for more attention to the situation of individuals who are displaced to another country because of climate change and disasters in the Horn of Africa.

"Drought forces people to leave their homes in Somalia and Ethiopia and flee to Kenya, Egypt or Yemen. Most of those fleeing are pastoralists, small scale farmers and agro-pastoralists," said the report.

The report showed that natural disasters usually interact with ethnic and politically based discrimination. For instance, armed conflict and lack of humanitarian access in Somalia played an important role in escalating the effects of the drought and famine.

"Individuals leave for another country for a variety of reasons, but in many cases the driving factor is related to the loss and deterioration of livelihood," said Dr. Tamer Afifi from UNU-EHS.

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of Research and Training Institutes.

"Induced by weather-related events, factors such as destruction of crops or flooding motivate people to cross borders," said the report.

It said people often leave without essential legal documents, money, personal items and might be separated from their families.

According to the report, people who are forced to flee their homes as a result of a disaster and effects of climate change are not considered refugees under current law and conventions. If a refugee status cannot be applied, displaced persons may have limited access to assistance.

"There is a need to explore the experiences of those directly affected as well as responses by governments, international organizations and others on the ground. We must ensure that the rights of those displaced are protected," said Birkeland.

 - Xinhua

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Wizkid set for twin Kenyan shows

Wizkid is back in Kenya. For two shows.

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Udada women's festival begins in ...

The Udada women's festival has arrived in Nairobi.

Submitted by
Uhuru pardons 2747 death row conv...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has pardoned a number of death row convicts, sending them to life sentences instead. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
WATCH: Kaka Sungura arrested in t...

Was Kaka Sungura arrested in town?