IOM chief-elect urges immediate action on climate migration crisis

ISTANBUL (AA) : The newly elected director-general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has stressed on the need for urgent action to address the intersection of climate change and human migration.

“Solutions to address the nexus of climate change and human mobility at a continental scale are urgent,” Amy Pope said in a statement on Friday.

The call for action came ahead of the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi between Sept. 4-6.

The summit is the largest gathering of African heads of state, ministers, U.N. agencies, humanitarian and development partners, private sector and youth in the continent’s history, the statement said.

“African countries are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, experiencing the dire impacts of the climate crisis including drought, flooding, extreme weather temperatures, rising sea levels,” it said.

More than 7.5 million internal disaster displacements were registered on the continent in 2022, according to a report by the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.

Without a climate action plan, up to 105 million people are feared to become internal migrants by 2023 in Africa alone, a 2021 World Bank report estimates, added.

The summit is ahead of the Conference of Parties (COP28) slated for December in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) “to unite the African continent towards agreement on climate change impacts on human mobility,” it said.

Pope was elected in May as IOM director general and will take office on Oct. 1, leading the organization for five years.