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Bangladesh: Internally Displaced Persons

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in coastal zones of Bangladesh who may be displaced as a result of changes to the sea level in the next 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (305289)

Environmental specialists studying the effects of climate change in Bangladesh believe that as many as 30 million Bangladeshis could be affected by a one metre rise in sea level; a likely scenario within the next 100 years. The Government consider this estimation credible. While a sea level rise of 10 cm over the next 10 years is unlikely to provoke large-scale migration from coastal areas, increased levels of salinity in fresh water will cause considerable health and agricultural problems. Adaptation to this new environment will be crucial.

The Government remain the largest bilateral donor to Bangladesh. We led in the formation of the Multi-donor Trust Fund, a substantial fund for climate change adaptation projects, to which we have assigned £75 million over five years.

We continue to work closely with the Bangladesh Government and civil society to secure an equitable deal at Copenhagen for Bangladesh, and suitable amounts of climate finance for large-scale adaptation to the effects of climate change.