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Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh: The impacts of COVID-19 on migration, environment & climate change



As part of her Mercator fellowship on International Affairs, Hoang Tran Hieu Hanh has written an article on the unravelling impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our world.

The paper titled “Fleeing versus lockdown: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration, environment and climate” unfolds the fragility of our societal systems since the health crisis.

To uncover this matter, Hanh features two professionals on the interlinkages between migration, environment and climate:

  • Runa Khan – founder and director of the NGO Friendship, who works with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on preparedness, response and strengthening resilience.
  • Dina Ionesco – former Head of the Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division at the IOM in Geneva, who supervises programmes and policies related to the MECC nexus and led IOM’s contributions to climate change negotiations.

In the article, Hanh covers the way the pandemic has impacted the work of Friendship’s and the IOM. Through Friendship’s mandate to serve millions of IDP’s and Rohingyas in Bangladesh with their four goals (poverty alleviation, community empowerment, climate action and health security). To the work of IOM’s in its operational, research, policy and advocacy efforts.

The pandemic has taught us to counter the uncertainty of our world with a more holistic approach – an approach that interlinks our safety to our eco-systems and climate change. Indeed, for both Khan and Ionesco, “the key values for responsible and sustainable action are humility and working in solidarity to ensure affected communities are empowered.” Coming to the conclusion that our world needs systems to be better prepared in ensuring the future of our society and planet.

To read more, you can find the full article on this Environmental Migration Portal page.