In the Race Against Climate Change – World Humanitarian Day 2021

Helsinki – On this World Humanitarian Day, the International Organization for Migration recognizes the threat of the multiple humanitarian crises triggered by climate change all around the world. For decades, IOM has been an active leader helping those displaced by worsening disasters while also addressing the links between migration and climate change globally.

Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity, and ocean levels are rising. As a consequence, more people become displaced, more people lose their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives. The World Bank predicts over 140 million people will migrate within their countries due to climate change by 2050, unless action is taken.

The climate emergency is wreaking havoc across the world at a scale that people on the front lines and in the humanitarian community cannot manage. In the race against the climate crisis, we can’t leave anyone behind. The sheer scale of the multiple crisis is one that surpasses the capacity of any single individual to solve them alone. They can only be addressed through the efforts of the entire human race. IOM invites you to join #TheHumanRace against climate change.

IOM Director General António Vitorino's speech on World Humanitarian Day 2021

"The global experience of extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, droughts, and storms has made climate change a defining issue of our time.  

On World Humanitarian Day, we focus on vulnerable populations that are hardest hit by the global climate emergency. 

Last year, more than half of all new displacements worldwide were due to weather-related disasters.  

Millions lost their homes, access to food and water, and their entire livelihoods due to worsening and more frequent natural hazards. 

These are climate migrants and we will be seeing many more of them in the years to come. 

Exacerbated by a global pandemic, the impacts of climate change have further stretched the ability of front-line workers and the humanitarian community as a whole to respond. 

The climate emergency is a race against time, one that requires an all-inclusive response from all stakeholders - governments, the private sector, civil society, you and me.  

As the world marks World Humanitarian Day, we stand together with those affected by climate change, including migrants. We call for a further scaling up of emergency preparedness and resilience building and also for more work to be done in climate change adaptation and mitigation. 

This is a humanitarian crisis that knows no borders, a crisis that affects the entire human race and its solution will not only require the participation of humanitarians, but of everyone."

You can watch the speech in a video format on IOM's Youtube channel.


SDG 13 - Climate Action
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals