A new tool has predicted the displacement of over a million people in the Sahel, as
Covid-19 creates havoc across the brittle region.
In some countries, such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Nigeria, the pandemic is expected to increase forced displacement by more than 14 percentage points.
This is the equivalent of a minimum of an additional one million people being displaced across the four countries if no action is taken.
And figures from the UN Refugee Agency show that at the end of 2019, global displacement had surged to nearly 80 million people - a precipitous rise from the start of the century.
Developed by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) with funding from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foresight tool has
already been deployed in both Myanmar and Afghanistan to predict upcoming humanitarian aid needs for crisis hit regions.
If the scenario modelling proves accurate, then humanitarian relief agencies will have been afforded precious precision time to establish plans of action and mitigation measures.
The tool analyses a range of factors, from economic and governmental through to environmental and stability, to formulate its predictions. It draws on World Bank, UN and other publicly available data sources to do so.
“The first real-life tests in Afghanistan and Myanmar confirm that the Foresight tool forecasts displacement with a safety margin of as little as +/- 10 per cent,” said Anders Tharsgaard, DRC’s head of business engagement.
Data shows that Covid-19 increases unemployment, lowers economic growth and weakens governance in several countries.
Based on the Foresight analysis of data for four countries there is also a quantifiable increased risk of large-scale displacement in countries hit by war, famine and natural disasters.
Venezuelan migrants huge each other as they line up outside the Bogota's northern bus terminal to buy bus tickets to get to the border and return to their country due to the novel coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic in Bogota, Colombia. Getty Images
Venezuelan migrants line up to be vaccinated by Bogota's Mayor health personnel in front of an encampment where jobless and homeless migrants are camping during the coronavirus pandemic in Bogota, Colombia. Getty Images
Arelvis Perez, a Venezuelan migrant from Menegrande, Zulia state, who worked as seamstress in a manufacturing company in Bogota for a year, remains at her tent with her grandmother and her daughters Marly and Ashly at en encampment where jobless and homeless migrants are camping during the coronavirus pandemic in Bogota, Colombia. Getty Images
Jobless and homeless Venezuelan migrants camp during the coronavirus pandemicin Bogota, Colombia. Getty Images
Hundreds of people from various African countries are gathered on the streets as they are evicted from the makeshift camp they are occupying around the Central Methodist Mission in Cape Town in South Africa. AFP
Migrants from sub-Saharan African countries who arrived on the island of Lesbos remain in quarantine in an open space designated by the Greek authorities, on the island of Lesbos, as Greece tries to control the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19. AFP
A migrant is seen outside his makeshift house at a camp in La Penita, Darien province, Panama. Thousands of migrants, mostly Haitians and Africans seeking to reach the US, remain in camps in the provinces of Darien and Chiriqui. AFP
A toddler is seen with her mother in a tent at a camp in La Penita, Darien province, Panama, where hundreds of migrants remain amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. AFP
A boy sits by his 16-days old sister as refugee families camp at Victoria square in central Athens, Greece. Around 100 mostly Afghan refugees have been camping in a square in recent days under temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) after arriving from island's camps. AFP
Refugee families sleep at Victoria square in central Athens, Greece. AFP
A woman wearing a protective mask walks past refugee families sitting by their belongings at Victoria square in central Athens, Greece. AFP
A Rohingya refugee people walks on a road along the makeshift camp in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. EPA
Rohingya refugee children pose for pictures on a road along the makeshift camp in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. EPA
Rohingya refugee children play on a road along the makeshift camp in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. EPA
A general view shows a Rohingya refugee makeshift camp in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. EPA
DRC is now expected to roll-out the tool in the 40 countries in which it is active.
“We expect the Foresight project to help us secure better protection of refugees and displaced people," said DRC Secretary General, Charlotte Slente.
Ms Siente added that it will also help "to prevent displacement and humanitarian needs generally,"
Updated: August 13, 2020 12:25 AM