Human Mobility in the Horn of Africa
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
has observed that environmental considerations are increasingly affecting the
movement of refugees in the Horn of Africa. According to available qualitative
and quantitative information (
, this region – in which many people of concern to
UNCHR are located – is one of the areas projected to be most negatively
affected by climate change. Environmental change in the Horn of Africa today includes
prolonged droughts, desertification, flash floods and land degradation, all of
which may be exacerbated by climate change in the medium and long term.
The project started in November 2010 and will continue
through the summer of 2011.
To review relevant literature on environmental
change and conflict and extract key findings. Much environmental science,
social science and locally-focused ethnographic research has been
conducted on this
To assess whether the reality for people of
concern to UNHCR in the Horn of Africa supports the findings in the
literature about the links between environmental change and conflict in
To determine, based on observations and
narratives in field locations, what relative weight can be placed on
environmental factors as a contributor to human mobility.
The locations of the site visits – Uganda and Ethiopia
- have been selected due to recognition by UNHCR that environmental factors are
playing an increasing role in the movement of refugees in the Horn of Africa. Interviews
were held in refugee camps with refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan,
Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda as well as with Internally Displaced
People (IDPs) from Uganda and Ethiopia.