Accelerating Threats from Climate Change: Disasters and Displacement in Myanmar

Alice Thomas
Refugees International
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In the summer of 2015, Myanmar experienced massive floods and associated landslides that affected nine million people. Since then, the country has seen dramatic political change, while confronting a litany of ongoing humanitarian crises. As the government strives to juggle humanitarian needs with longer-term development issues, it must confront its extreme vulnerability to disasters and climate change.

At present, flood-affected communities in some of the poorest and most conflict-ridden areas of the country have yet to recover, including those which were hastily relocated. In the near-term, the government and its development partners must help those displaced by the 2015 floods and landslides to restore their livelihoods and enhance their resilience to future disasters. Over the longer-term, the government will also need to work with its partners to build its technical capacity to better mitigate the adverse impacts of disasters and climate change on displacement and migration. Failure to do so will only continue to undermine development and exacerbate Myanmar’s other challenges.