Forced displacement is one of the most acute and visible consequences of disasters and conflict. Its scale and complexity have increased dramatically in recent years. The World Disasters Report 2012 makes a critical contribution to our understanding of how the changing nature of conflict, climate change, population growth and urbanization interact with and accentuate vulnerability. The report articulates a vision which places displaced and other affected communities, and their protection and assistance needs, at the heart of our collective response.
– António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on forced migration and on the people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and development projects, whose numbers are increasing inexorably each year. The enormous human costs of forced migration – destroyed homes and livelihoods, increased vulnerability, disempowered communities, and collapsed social networks and common bonds – demand urgent and decisive action by both humanitarian and development actors.
The report analyses the complex causes of forced migration and its consequences and impacts on displaced populations, their hosts and humanitarian actors. It looks at the significant gaps in humanitarian protection for ever-increasing numbers of forced migrants who do not fit into conventional categories of protection, and the public health challenges caused by forced displacement, particularly for women, children and those with mental ill-health problems. It examines the ‘urbanization’ of forced migration, the role of climate change and environmental factors in forced displacement and how new communications, information and social networking technologies are reshaping the links between aid providers and migrants. It also tracks humanitarian funding for forcibly displaced populations, as well as the positive and negative economic impacts they have on host communities and countries.