Calamities displace 23 lakh every year in India

India ranks top among world’s most disaster-prone countries with rising number of homeless people at an average annual displacement of 2.3 million, uprooted due to calamities such as floods, cyclone or earthquakes.

A UN study, to be released on the International Day for Disaster Reduction on Friday, forecast a continued rise in homelessness. The paper says eight of the top ten most disaster-prone countries are in South and South-east Asia, India being on the top, followed by China which has an annual average displacement at 1.3 million, a million people less affected than India.

The estimation of displaced people in India may be on the lower side considering that in the recent Bihar floods alone, more than 1.75 crores (about 17.5 million) people were affected and 8.55 lakh were evacuated. The state disaster mitigation authorities ran 1,358 relief camps with 4.22 lakh inmates taking shelter in them. Floods had affected at least half a dozen other states this year. Inadequate preparedness and failure to evacuate in time led to over 500 people dead in Bihar itself.

“Most of this displacement is being driven by flooding which is on the increase in a warming world where population growth in hazard-prone parts of the globe has increased exposure,” observed the study, jointly conducted by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre of the Norwegian Refugee Council and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).


The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), created in December 1999, is the successor to the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

It was established to ensure the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

It is part of the United Nations Secretariat and its functions span the social, economic, environmental as well as humanitarian fields.

UNISDR supports the implementation, follow-up and review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction adopted by the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction on 18 March 2015 in Sendai, Japan.
UNISDR’s vision is anchored on the four priorities for action set out in the Sendai Framework:

  • Understanding disaster risk.
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk.
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience.
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build
  • Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
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