EU, IOM Launch New Partnership to Adress Climate Displacement in Asia-Pacific

Mass Evacuations in Natural Disasters (MEND) - Quezon City in 2018. ©IOM/Francis Borja.

The aftermath of Typhoon Rai, the most powerful storm of 2021 in the Philippines. ©IOM 2021.

Tsunami damage to the west coast of Aceh in 2005. ©IOM/Mawardi Muhammad

The Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO) funds IOM to provide non-food items (NFIs) to help the victims of Mount Merapi which erupted on 26 October 2010. ©IOM/Jihan Labetubun.

Bangkok – In the past decade, Asia and the Pacific have seen 225 million people being forced to leave their homes due to disasters, accounting for 78 per cent of global displacement. 

In response to this reality, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI) and the Asian Institute of Technology are initiating an innovative approach in Asia and the Pacific, built around three key initiatives. The approach will begin with pilot activities in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Fiji thanks to financial support from European Union humanitarian aid.

The partnership will create the Risk Index for Climate Displacement (RICD), a new and innovative tool which will enhance the understanding of future climate displacement trends in sensitive locations in the region. RICD will integrate diverse datasets including satellite and other remote sensing technologies, advanced analytics, machine learning, and other techniques to quantify risks of future displacement and allow for timely actions to avert, minimise, or address this challenge.

The initiative will also establish the Climate Catalytic Fund (CCF) which will mobilize local finance and action to address the identified risks. These actions will primarily focus on enhancing preparedness, resilience and prevention efforts through a Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus (HDPN) approach.

Lastly, the three partners will develop a rapid response fund to respond more quickly to crisis situations and new emergencies.

Sarah Arriola, IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, welcomed the initiative: “As the consequences of climate change continue to worsen, we are concerned that the impact on human mobility, including displacement, will increase significantly. This is why we are pleased to launch this very important initiative with our partners and support from the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department, to help address these challenges.”

Arriola added that in collaborating with technical experts from Asia and the Pacific to help develop innovative solutions to these challenges, IOM seeks to ensure that high-calibre technical experts are brought together to address this challenge and that solutions are developed and owned by institutions from this region.

“Climate change is here, and it is having a real impact on the lives of millions of people. Asia and the Pacific are extremely exposed to natural hazards. This initiative is supported by the EU and aims to improve our understanding of the humanitarian impacts of climate change for those who are most at risk and vulnerable, to act based on this information, and ultimately save lives,” said Davide Zappa from the EU’s humanitarian aid department. 


In 2022 alone, there were 22.6 million new displacements in the region, making up nearly 70 per cent of the worldwide total. Additionally, there is a growing concern about displacement caused by slow-onset events, with estimates suggesting that as many as 88.9 million people could be displaced by 2050.

Recognizing the severity of this issue, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Task Force on Displacement has acknowledged displacement as a form of non-economic "loss and damage" resulting from climate change. This acknowledgement underscores the critical need for investment in prevention, resilience-building, and preparedness measures to address displacement both in the short and long terms.


For more information, please contact at IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Itayi Viriri, Email:

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