On the destructive consequences of conflicts and natural disasters

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“ Conflict, violence and natural disasters forced more than 31 million people to leave home and settle elsewhere within their countries last year, the equivalent of one person every second. But while the number of people uprooted by conflict outnumbers refugees by two to one, they have been largely ignored by the international community (…) Disasters such as floods, storms and wildfires had an even greater effect, displacing 24.2 million people, more than three times the number uprooted by conflict. This trend was at its most acute in east Asia and the Pacific. In China, 7.4 million were forced from their homes, with 5.9 million affected in the Philippines and a further 2.4 million in India. Floods accounted for half of all people displaced by disasters (…) ‘First, conflict resolution needs to be doubled, tripled, quadrupled,’ he said. ‘It’s incredible there’s not a bigger pull towards a peaceful settlement of the Yemeni conflict. We also need to get economic life to countries like Yemen and elsewhere so there’s not a collapse in social structures there. Then we need investment in avoiding environmental degradation, and we need disaster risk reduction’ ”

Rebecca Ratcliffe, ‘Outnumbering refugees two to one: how the world ignores war’s greatest scandals’, The Guardian

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