Past Event

Climate, Conflict and Coronavirus: A Perfect Storm for Migrants and Displaced Persons

October 22, 2020
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
New York (Online Webinar)

To sign up for information on future programs in this series: CFM Sign-up

The three C’s – climate, conflict, and coronavirus – have combined to create a perfect storm in many parts of the world for forced migrants. In the US, households of undocumented migrants are often more crowded, promoting the spread of the virus, and there is concern that climate-related extreme events such as hurricanes, floods, and fires will force people into crowded emergency housing where social distancing is not possible. In many parts of the developing world, climate- and conflict-related displacement and refugee flows are intersecting with the spread of the virus, and precipitating economic downturns that make it even more difficult for countries to respond. Low income countries are seeing increased urban-to-rural flows as the poor and day laborers are either forced out (as in the case of India) or have no choice but to leave (as in parts of Africa) owing to the lack of opportunities. With many borders in developed countries now closed, those seeking amnesty are no longer able to enter. This panel will explore these complex intersections. Please join us on Thursday for our event featuring:


Jeffrey Schlegelmilch, Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University

Kamal Amakrane, SIPA adjunct professor, and Director in the Office of the President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), with special responsibilities for migration, refugees, and human trafficking issues.

Leslie Roberts, associate professor of Population and Family Health and a member of the Program on Forced Migration and Health, Mailman School of Public Health

Alex de Sherbinin, geographer at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of the Earth Institute. His research interests focus on the human aspects of global environmental change and geospatial data applications, integration, and dissemination. He is an expert on climate change and migration, climate vulnerability mapping, population dynamics and the environment, and environmental indicators.