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Figures Show Three Times More People Displaced by Natural Disasters Than Conflict: Report

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A new report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) launched on Wednesday at the UN in New York reveals that in 2013, 22 million people were displaced by natural disasters, three times more than those displaced by war.

MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - A new report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) launched on Wednesday at the UN in New York reveals that in 2013, 22 million people were displaced by natural disasters, three times more than those displaced by war.

"This increasing trend will continue as more and more people live and work in hazard-prone areas. It is expected to be aggravated in the future by the impacts of climate change," Secretary of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), General Jan Egeland said on Wednesday, according to NRC's official website.

The report written by NRC's IDMC, Global Estimates, attributed the numbers to the growth and concentration of urban populations, especially in countries vulnerable to natural disasters revealing twice as many people being displaced today than in the 1970s.

The report found that 2013 was a "peak year for storm-related displacement in Asia" where some 19 million people, 87.1 percent of the global total, were displaced as a result. IDMC also found more than 85 percent of displacement took place in developing countries.

"Most disasters are as much man-made as they are natural," IDMC's director, Alfredo Zamudio, was quoted as saying by NRC's website.

"Better urban planning, flood defenses and building standards could mitigate much of their impact," the director added.

Major disasters such as typhoon Man-yi in Japan, typhoon Haiyan which alone displaced some 4.1 million people, and tornadoes in the United States drive the global trend. Sub-Saharan African countries common to seasonal floods are projected to take a greater hit in the future should Africa's populations double by 2050 as predicted.

NRC claims their findings call for measures reducing disaster risk and boosting aid helping more vulnerable countries adjust and adapt to their more hazard-prone surroundings.

The report precedes UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Global Climate Change Summit in New York scheduled for September 23 a meeting between international leaders which UN chief Ban Ki-Moon hopes will build momentum for the conclusion of an international agreement at the 2015 climate summit in Paris.

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