Climate change drives people into harm's way: UNHCR's Guterres

Preparing for the Worst: Refugees moving to higher ground at Dadaab when it was hit by floods

A new report finds that climate change can make people more vulnerable and can also play a part in driving them into areas of conflict and ultimately across borders and into exile.

The report, "Climate Change, Vulnerability and Human Mobility," is based on scores of personal testimonies from refugees in Eastern Africa.

Based on discussions with around 150 refugees and internally displaced people in Ethiopia and Uganda in 2011, the study asked questions aimed at understanding to what extent climate change had contributed to their flight from their homes, and eventually their countries.

Most of those interviewed were farmers and pastoralists from Eritrea, Somalia and eastern Sudan.

Most refugees reported that leaving their homes was a last resort and their first displacement was temporary and to an area close to home. The majority fled their countries after the areas they moved to were affected by insecurity or a lethal combination of violence and drought.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said "This report confirms what we have been hearing for years from refugees."

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