ISLAMABAD, Nov 14: World Disasters Report 2012 on Wednesday revealed that one in every hundred persons (i.e 72 million people) the world over, displaced by natural and man-made disasters, often faces a ‘secondary disaster’ that comes from living in unplanned and informal settlements.
They lack the necessary social service, including health care and clean water, which they struggle to access. Besides, they also face sexual and gender-based violence.
The report was launched at a ceremony jointly organised by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS).
The report stresses that people forcibly displaced by conflict, disasters, persecution and other factors are increasingly seeking refuge in cities and not in relief camps.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Report, Chairman PRCS Mian Mohammad Javed said this year the report focused on forced migration and displacement. He said at present the Red Cross and Red Crescent estimated that there were more than 72 million forced migrants which was equivalent to one in every hundred people on the planet.
“These are people who do not have a choice but to leave their homes and flee because of a range of sadly predictable factors such as conflict and violence.
“Think of Syria and the Arab Spring, political persecution, mega natural disasters like Haiti and our own country Pakistan and even poorly planned development projects,” he said.
Report says that governments can also minimise the impact of migration on their communities and can even benefit from new arrivals by including migrant health issues in national health plans, and by working more broadly to ensure that migrants become productive members of their new communities.
“Governments and humanitarian organisations are still struggling to figure out how to support these people who have fled a disaster or a conflict and who have ended up living in informal parts of towns or cities,” Mian Javed added.
Secretary General PRCS Dr Mahboob Sardar said in Pakistan displacement was no longer a once-in-years phenomenon, “as we see countless number of migrants throughout the year because of domestic conflicts and natural disasters that have become more frequent than ever and the country’s capacity to withstand their consequences is going down.”
“We have been facing a number of natural and man-made disasters for the last few years, namely the worst and historic floods, cyclones and catastrophic earthquakes.
A single disaster like the floods that devastated the country in 2010 displaced more than five million people who stayed in various camps for months,” he said.