Groundswell Africa: Internal Climate Migration in West African Countries

This publication builds on the landmark 2018 Groundswell report to examine climate-induced migration in West Africa to inform policy makers and practitioners about the urgency for near- and farsighted planning, policy, and action as an integral part of the development response.
Results will inform the policy dialogue and policy direction for West African governments. This report also provides strategic policy responses to guide West African countries to better anticipate and prepare for the scale and effects of internal climate migration.
The study finds that without concrete climate and development action, up to 32 million people in West Africa could be compelled to move within their countries by 2050, in response to water scarcity, declines in crop and ecosystem productivity, and sea level rise, augmented by storm surge. By 2050, Niger alone could have up to 19.1 million internal climate migrants, which would account for up to 30.26 percent of the total population if no action is taken. Smaller coastal countries in West Africa like Benin could see climate migrants representing 45 percent of all internal migrants by 2050.

The work has been funded by the World Bank with additional support provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Knowledge Pillar of the West Africa Coastal Areas (WACA) Platform, which receives funding from, among others, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and the Africa Climate Resilient Investment Facility (AFRI-RES) – a partnership of the World Bank, the African Union, and the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa, with funding from the NDF.