Sahra Ismael Elade, An Internally Displaced Woman In Somaliland, Was Forced To Move To Wajaale District With Her Family Due To The Severe Drought: “We Moved From QolAde And We Stayed At Different Locations Till We Moved To Wajaale District. We Had 320 Sheep, But Only 100 Are Left. We Just Moved To This Place, It Is Our Second Day Here. I Am Here Now With My Daughter And Her Husband And Kid”. ; Over 761,000 Somalis Have Been Forced To Leave Their Homes For The Drought Between November 2016 And June 2017, Mostly Women And Children. Many Internally Displaced People (IDPs) Moved To This Informal Settlement In Wajaale District, Towards The Border With Ethiopia. They Mostly Come From The Eastern Regions Of Sool And Sanaag, Heavily Affected By The Drought. UNHCR, Through Its NGO Partners, Has Responded To The Most Urgent Needs Of IDPs And Host Communities By Distributing Core Relief Items, Including Plastic Sheets, Jerry Cans, Kitchen Sets, Etc. In Some Areas, UNHCR Also Provided Water Trucking And Sanitation Facilities, Cash Grants, As Well As Prevention From And Response To Sexual And Gender-based Violence. Plans Are Underway To Provide Further Life-saving Assistance Where Needed.

UNHCR Excom side event – Addressing disaster displacement and climate change: Opportunities in partnership

Side event of the 68th session of the UNHCR Executive Committee

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

9:00 – 10:00

Palais des Nations – Room XII

Moderated by Mr. Volker Türk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR                                                                           

Speakers:

Her Excellency Ambassador Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Her Excellency Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Her Excellency Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Professor Walter Kälin, Envoy of the Chair of the Platform on Disaster Displacement

Displacement in the context of disasters and climate change is among the biggest global challenges that States and the humanitarian system face today. This side event provides an opportunity for the international community to discuss challenges and opportunities in relation to the ways in which governments, working with UNHCR, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and other partners, have sought to avert, reduce or address displacement in the context of disasters and climate change.  Speakers will share best practices in their regions, as well as outline various types of engagement that they have been part of, ranging from operational response to normative and policy development.


Germany, PDD and UNHCR are holding a side event at the annual meeting of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s programme (ExCom) in 2017 on this theme. It will provide an opportunity for the international community to discuss challenges and opportunities in relation to the ways in which governments, working with UNHCR and other partners, have sought to avert, reduce or address displacement in context of disasters and climate change.  This will be an opportunity for sharing best practices in different regions, as well as various types of engagement ranging from operational response to normative and policy development.

Background documents:

  • Platform on Disaster Displacement Fact Sheet (2017)
  • Platform on Disaster Displacement Leaflet (2017)
  • Professors Guy S. Goodwin-Gill and Jane McAdam, UNHCR AND CLIMATE CHANGE, DISASTERS, AND DISPLACEMENT (2017)
  • UNHCR, Quick Guide: Climate Change and Disaster Displacement (2017)
  • UNHCR, Climate Change and Disaster Displacement: An Overview of UNHCR’s role (2017)
  • UNHCR, Key concepts Climate Change and Disaster Displacement (2017)
  • UNHCR, Report of June 2017 UNHCR NGO Consultations Event on Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities in Global Compacts (2017)
  • UNHCR, Georgetown, IOM, A toolbox: Planning Relocations to Protect People from Disasters and Environmental Change (2017)
  • UNHCR, Georgetown, Brookings, Guidance on planned relocation in the context of disaster and climate change (2015)
  • Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda (2015)

Download the side event flyer

Download the side event concept note