In the past five years, the number of people internally displaced by storms and flooding increased six-fold in the Caribbean SIDS. From 2014 to 2018, 3.4 million people, including 761,000 children, were internally displaced. In contrast, more than 600,000 people, including 175,000 children, were displaced in the preceding five-year period from 2009 to 2013.
Why is this happening?
The primary cause of this dramatic increase in forced displacement was a series of catastrophic tropical cyclones or hurricanes that hit the region between 2016 and 2018 – including four Category 5 and two Category 4 storms.
How are children being affected by climate change?
Children are particularly vulnerable during population displacements, especially if their parents are killed or if they are separated from their families in the chaos of the event. Alone, children are exposed to a higher risk of violence, exploitation and trafficking. They are also more vulnerable to opportunistic diseases such as measles and respiratory infections, which can thrive in overcrowded conditions in emergency shelters. And they may end up in situations where they have limited or no access to the essential services they need to thrive, including education, protection and health care.