Bangladesh faces 15 lakh displacements in 2022 due to disasters

The Report Desk

Published: May 8, 2024, 02:57 PM

Bangladesh faces 15 lakh displacements in 2022 due to disasters

IOM Director General Amy Pope -Photo: Voice of America

In 2022, Bangladesh witnessed a staggering displacement of more than 1.5 million people due to disasters alone, as reported by the World Migration Report 2024. The report, compiled by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), places Bangladesh fifth in Asia for climate change-induced displacement.

During the unveiling of the report at an event in the capital‍‍`s Banani, IOM Director General Amy Pope highlighted Bangladesh‍‍`s intricate migration landscape. She pointed out the impact of climate change, demographic shifts, and global labor demands, which often drive migration through irregular channels, rendering individuals more vulnerable.

Pope emphasized the grim statistic, stating, "12 percent of the deaths of those crossing the Mediterranean this year have been nationals of this country."

The report underscores the escalating frequency and severity of disasters in South Asia, potentially linked to climate change. The prolonged monsoon season, soaring temperatures, and intensifying droughts are anticipated to become the "new normal" for the region.

Bangladesh grappled with catastrophic floods in 2022, deemed the worst in a century, claiming numerous lives. Furthermore, the report identifies Bangladesh as the sixth-largest migrant-sending country and the eighth-largest recipient of remittances globally.

Despite this, international remittances to Bangladesh experienced a slight decline from $21.75 billion in 2020 to $21.50 billion in 2022, according to the report. Conversely, global remittances surged by 650 percent between 2000 and 2022, reaching $831 billion by the end of 2022, with the worldwide migrant population totaling 281 million, and the displaced population hitting a record high of 117 million.

In a high-level dialogue titled "Future of Migration and Bangladesh Perspective," stakeholders deliberated on ensuring migration‍‍`s positive contribution to human development and global prosperity. Shofiqur Rahman Chowdhury, state minister for the Ministry of Expatriates‍‍` Welfare and Overseas Employment, stressed the necessity for international collaboration to tackle the challenges of safe, orderly, and regular migration in an increasingly interconnected world.

Rear Admiral (retd) Md Khurshed Alam, the acting foreign secretary, emphasized Bangladesh‍‍`s imperative to comprehend the evolving migration landscape and the factors shaping its trajectory. Meanwhile, Md Ruhul Amin, secretary for the Ministry of Expatriates‍‍` Welfare and Overseas Employment, acknowledged migration‍‍`s role in socio-economic development, underlining the importance of safeguarding migrant rights amidst climate change, demographic shifts, urbanization, and digitalization.

Pope reiterated the need for a data-driven strategic approach to migration, advocating for inclusive societal perspectives. The event also saw discussions on proactive policy advocacy, development programming, and international cooperation, considering Bangladesh‍‍`s impending transition from a least-developed country status in 2026.

The event further hosted a technical session moderated by Ferdousi Shahriar, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with insights shared by former foreign secretary Prof Shahidul Haque, Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh Antonio Alessandro, ActionAid Bangladesh Country Director Farah Kabir, and Chairman of IPAG Prof Syed Munir Khasru.

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