The climate crisis is accelerating. Sadly, its impact is amplifying deep inequalities and injustices around the world, with displaced communities, especially women, children, older people and people with disabilities often disproportionately affected.
Millions of the world’s displaced and stateless people live in climate-vulnerable “hotspots” plagued by recurring droughts or super storms, yet they lack the resources to adapt to an increasingly inhospitable environment. With 90% of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate and 70% of internally displaced people originating from countries most vulnerable to climate change, climate action is essential to UNHCR’s core mission.
At the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference, UNHCR, represented by our Goodwill Ambassador Sudanese-American slam poet Emi Mahmoud, highlighted the impact of the climate crisis on refugees, displaced and stateless people. “Our country was already locked in turmoil and now the earth began to purge us too,” said the former refugee, as she delivered a powerful message to the world through her new poem.
During the conference, Andrew Harper, our Special Advisor on Climate Action, also presented the Climate Action Strategic Framework, which sets out the parameters for UNHCR’s response to the growing global emergency.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.