New Delhi: China, India and the Philippines saw the highest levels of displacement in the years between 2008 and 2014, according to a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) released on Monday.
Among the top 20 largest displacement events in 2014, four were in India, including the Odisha floods, Jammu and Kashmir floods, cyclone Hudhud and Assam and Meghalaya floods. Together, these four disasters led to the displacement of more than 15% of the 19.3 million people displaced by disasters in 100 countries worldwide.
Most of the largest displacements in 2014 were due to weather-related hazards and the three largest were caused by typhoons and floods in the Philippines and India. Countries majorly affected by displacement related to both conflict and natural hazards in 2014 included India, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Sudan and Sudan.
India experiences high levels of displacement along its east coast, where communities are exposed to tropical storms from the Bay of Bengal, and in the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Yamuna river basins in the north and northeast of the country, the report noted. Disasters due to weather hazards, mostly floods and storms, displaced more than 17.5 million people which is 92% of the global total.
However, experts said disasters alone could not be held responsible for the displacement of the people. “The millions of lives devastated by disasters is more often a consequence of bad man-made structures and policies, than the forces of mother nature,” said Jan Egeland, secretary general of Norwegian Refugee Council, a non-governmental organization of which IDMC is a part. “A flood is not in itself a disaster, the catastrophic consequences happen when people are neither prepared nor protected when it hits,” Egeland said in a statement.