Climate Migration Will Intensify Fast According to Oxfam

An activist holding a sign "Climate change = more climate refugees" at the Melbourne Global climate strike on Sep 20, 2019 ( Photo by Takver / Wikimedia Commons)

There might be up to 216 million climate migrants at the global level by 2050, according to a report published by British charity organization Oxfam. According to the organization’s estimates in ten of the world’s worst climate hotspots, chronic hunger is projected to rise by a third in 2050 because of climate change.

Water scarcity, droughts, worsening yield in crops are signs already showing of what effect climate change has in exposed and vulnerable areas. The Oxfam report focuses on the impact of climate change and the availability of water in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The report details the devastating effects of a water crisis sparked by global warming and the alternating of drought and ever more violent flooding in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Oxfam predicts an exponential increase in hunger, forced migration, and epidemics.

The report found that by 2040, East Africa could be hit by an 8 percent rise in precipitation, with a cycle of floods and droughts leading to a potentially catastrophic 30 percent rise in surface runoff. This washes away nutrients from exhausted soils and destroys infrastructure. It says 50-60 million more people could be at risk of malaria by 2030.

It says the West Africa region will suffer similar problems because of this water crisis. Both regions are facing 8-15 percent more intense heatwaves and falls in labor productivity by 11-15 percent, amid mass migration, rising poverty and hunger, crop changes and livestock loss, and more water-driven conflicts.

Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam Global Climate Justice Lead, said: “While global warming is being caused by oil, coal and gas, its harm is fundamentally being experienced as a global water crisis. This poses one of the biggest threats to humanity and will lead to more hunger, more disease, and more displacement, especially for the countries and communities least prepared for climate change.”

Climate displacement is adding to a massive migration already underway to the world’s cities, and it is becoming a critical issue globally, emphasizes American media outlet WIRED. According to the magazine, in 2022, the number of forcibly displaced people exceeded 100 million for the first time, with climate change displacing more people than conflicts. Models show that for every degree of temperature rise, a billion people will be displaced. Over the coming decade, hundreds of millions of people will have to move.

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