Pacific Response to Disaster Displacement Project


Inhabitants of developing island states in the Pacific are amongst those most at risk of being displaced by disasters. The increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events, likely due to climate change, is putting at least 50,000 Pacific Islanders in danger of losing their homes each year.

In some cases, displaced communities can return home soon after disasters. In many other cases their homes and land are lost, leaving them displaced for years to come. Some find that they have no choice but to return to an area highly exposed to future hazards.

The project

With funding from the European Union, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) is collaborating with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) on the Pacific Response to Disaster Displacement (PRDD) project. The project will contribute to better policy responses and disaster planning, as well as new and improved operational tools. 

The PRDD project is generating new evidence to better understand, plan for, prevent, and respond to disaster displacement in the Pacific region.


"We need to recognise that disaster displacement lasts well beyond the emergency response phase of a crisis. It is a cross-cutting issue, affecting many other aspects of national development, such as the economy, health, education and human rights. The knowledge, evidence and tools generated through this project will support national and local government authorities to draft and adopt improved policies, design more effective prevention and response plans, and update early warning systems."

Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Fiji to the United Nations in Geneva

What we do

We help National Disaster Management Offices in the Pacific to systematically collect, analyse, and disseminate existing and new disaster displacement risk information across sectors and at all levels of government. We do this using the IDMC Global Internal Displacement Database and IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

Combining climate change scenarios and current displacement information will be crucial in understanding and managing future climate change and disaster displacement risk. Using probabilistic risk models and Arc GIS mapping software, we are working with governments to identify risk hotspots, map evacuation centres, and generate decision-making tools to inform planning and policy work.

We are commissioning a new research partnership to provide policy-relevant evidence on the challenges and development opportunities related to addressing slow-onset and urban displacement. Our research includes an assessment of the socioeconomic impacts of internal displacement in the region and an analysis of development opportunities.

We are also working with regional organisations and governments to undertake a regional mapping of existing legislation on disaster displacement.

We work closely with regional organisations like the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS) to review and develop evidence-based policies and frameworks to guide action on disaster displacement at national and regional level.  

Developing country-specific tools, methodologies, standard operating procedures, analytical frameworks, and training modules is at the core of our work in the Pacific and underpin our other activities. A series of training workshops will help equip selected government departments to be able continue our work once the project comes to an end.

Most of the disaster displacement recorded globally in 2020 took place in the East Asia and Pacific region. Powerful tropical cyclones and flooding fuelled by climatic variations such as La Nina triggered 94% of the 12.1 million new displacements, the highest figure since 2016 and above the region’s 10-year average.

Find out how our PRDD project is supporting the government of Fiji in its planned relocation initiative.