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Climate Change, Migration, and Adaptation in the MENA Region

Listed author(s):
  • Wodon, Quentin
  • Burger, Nicholas
  • Grant, Audra
  • Liverani, Andrea

Climate change is a major source of concern in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and migration is often understood as one of several strategies used by households to respond to changes in climate and environmental conditions, including extreme weather events. Other coping and adaptation strategies include changing the household’s sources of livelihood, and selling assets or taking other emergency measures in cases of losses due to extreme weather events. Yet while there is a burgeoning literature on climate change and migration and other adaptation strategies worldwide, the evidence available for the MENA region remains limited, in part because of a lack of survey and other data. This chapter is based in large part on new data collected in 2011 in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Yemen. Household surveys were implemented in two climate affected areas in each country. In addition, qualitative focus groups were also implemented in both urban and rural areas. Finally, complementary work was completed using existing data sources for Morocco and Yemen. The chapter provides a summary of some of the main findings from these various sources of data, focusing on household perceptions about climate change and extreme weather events, migration, other household coping and adaptation strategies, and government and community responses. Overall, households do perceive important change in the climate, and many have been affected by extreme weather events with resulting losses in income, crops, livestock, or fish catchment. The coping and adaptation strategies used by households to deal with shocks are diverse but limited, as are the community and government programs which could help households better cope with and adapt to climate change. In terms of migration, in the areas affected by climate change and weather shocks, the analysis suggests that climate factors may account for between one tenth and one fifth of the overall level of migration observed today, but this is likely to increase as climatic conditions continue to deteriorate. While migrants appreciate the opportunities that migration offer, their living conditions and ability to be well integrated in their areas of destination is far from being guaranteed.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/56927/1/MPRA_paper_56927.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 56927.

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Date of creation: Jun 2014
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56927
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  1. Joseph, George & Wodon, Quentin, 2014. "Does the Impact of Remittances on Poverty and Human Development Depend on the Climate of Receiving Areas?," MPRA Paper 56517, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Rappaport, Jordan & Sachs, Jeffrey D, 2003. "The United States as a Coastal Nation," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
  3. Quentin Wodon & Andrea Liverani & George Joseph & Nathalie Bougnoux, 2014. "Climate Change and Migration : Evidence from the Middle East and North Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18929, April.
  4. Andrew Dillon & Valerie Mueller & Sheu Salau, 2011. "Migratory Responses to Agricultural Risk in Northern Nigeria," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1048-1061.
  5. Adoho, Franck & Wodon, Quentin, 2014. "How Do Households Cope with and Adapt to Climate Change in the MENA Region?," MPRA Paper 56934, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Halliday, Timothy, 2006. "Migration, Risk, and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 893-925, July.
  7. Joseph, George & Wodon, Quentin & Blankespoor, Brian, 2014. "Do Remittances Reach Households Living in Unfavorable Climate Areas? Evidence from the Republic of Yemen," MPRA Paper 56939, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Edward R Carr, 2005. "Placing the environment in migration: environment, economy, and power in Ghana's Central Region," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(5), pages 925-946, May.
  9. Michel Beine & Christopher Parsons, 2015. "Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 723-767, 04.
  10. Adoho, Franck & Wodon, Quentin, 2014. "Perceptions of Climate Change, Weather Shocks, and Impacts on Households in the MENA region," MPRA Paper 56931, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Rappaport, Jordan, 2007. "Moving to nice weather," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 375-398, May.
  12. Cong Nguyen, Minh & Wodon, Quentin, 2014. "Extreme Weather Events and Migration: The Case of Morocco," MPRA Paper 56938, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Cong Nguyen, Minh & Wodon, Quentin, 2014. "Weather Shocks, Impact on Households, and Ability to Recover in Morocco," MPRA Paper 56932, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. George Joseph & Quentin Wodon, 2013. "Is Internal Migration in Yemen Driven by Climate or Socio-economic Factors?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 295-310, 05.
  15. Gray, Clark & Mueller, Valerie, 2012. "Drought and Population Mobility in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 134-145.
  16. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Report 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4387, April.
  17. Grant, Audra & Burger, Nicholas & Wodon, Quentin, 2014. "Climate-induced Migration in the MENA Region: Results from the Qualitative Fieldwork," MPRA Paper 56936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Joseph, George & Wodon, Quentin & Liverani, Andrea & Blankespoor, Brian, 2014. "Is Climate Change Likely to Lead to Higher Net Internal Migration? The Republic of Yemen’s Case," MPRA Paper 56937, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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