Fiji ranks highly among climate-affected countries

Damage left by Tropical Cyclone Harold at Richmond Methodist High School on Kadavu. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FT FILE

A new report by the Asian Development Bank and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre says 189,000 Fijians were estimated to have been displaced because of natural disasters between 2010 and 2021.

The “Disaster Displacement in Asia and the Pacific” report concluded the Asia and the Pacific regions were the most affected by disaster displacement worldwide.

Fiji was classified a “highly exposed small island state” alongside Tuvalu and Vanuatu – who both had high internal displacement.

“Weather-related hazards — such as monsoon rains and tropical storms—were responsible for 95 per cent of all disaster displacements across the region during 2010−2021,” the report read.

“Each time a person is displaced, costs arise. Economic impacts add up when displaced people are uprooted for months, years, or even decades.

“The region has a long history of devastating disasters that marked entire generations, and although internal displacement has been a reality for centuries, it is not until recently that the true scale has started to become apparent.

“The Asia and Pacific region accounts for the majority of global disaster displacement, with 225.3 million internal displacements reported during 2010−2021.

“The analysis of these displacement trends constitutes an important evidence base for strengthening disaster risk reduction and durable solutions efforts in a region that is challenged by current and emerging risks associated with urbanisation, land degradation, erosion, and the impacts of climate change.”

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