Urban Management of Internal Migration due to Climate Change

Project description

Title: Urban Management of Internal Migration due to Climate Change (UMIMCC)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bangladesh
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Social Welfare
Overall term: 2018 to 2022


In Bangladesh, climate change is considered one of the greatest future risks. The increasing number of people forced to move to other regions within the country could jeopardise social stability in the long term. Migration is one of the key strategies used by poor and vulnerable households in Bangladesh to adapt to changing living conditions. However, internal migration can reinforce acute vulnerability and further exacerbate conflicts if migrants receive little public support and are forced to live in urban slums with inadequate infrastructure and without access to basic services and income opportunities. It can be assumed that there are many reasons behind a decision to migrate. In addition to climate and weather conditions, there are also social, economic and political factors. In the project’s partner cities, experts believe that climate and weather-related stress factors play a leading role in the decision-making process.

In Bangladesh, 40 out of 64 districts are affected by the impacts of climate change. It is estimated that six million people have already migrated as a result of weather and climate change. The divisional capitals of Khulna and Rajshah in particular have a very high proportion of migrants: approximately 70 per cent of slum dwellers there are migrants. However, there are currently no measures in place in Bangladesh that are geared to improving the living conditions of climate migrants.


The living conditions of climate migrants have improved in selected settlements in the partner cities of Barisal, Khulna, Rajshahi, Satkhira and Sirajganj as a result of needs-based measures.


The project, which is part of the special initiative Tackling the Root Causes of Displacement, Reintegrating Refugees, operates in four areas of activity to improve the living conditions of climate migrants in the partner cities.

  • In the first area, the project supports slum dwellers in expressing their needs and developing suitable measures in collaboration with municipal authorities to improve living conditions in the slums.
  • The second area of activity comprises training courses to enable people living in slums to develop employable skills and gain access to the city’s labour market. The project also offers a job placement programme and additional courses for people wanting to start their own businesses.
  • A further area of activity improves access to financing opportunities. The instrument of microfinance was devised in Bangladesh, and therefore does not need to be introduced. Nevertheless, access to financing opportunities is currently limited; the project is working to reduce barriers.
  • In the final area of activity, the project is strengthening access to social services for those who are unable to provide for themselves. The lead organisation, the Ministry of Social Welfare, has recognised that access to its services in urban areas is not yet adequate and has requested German technical cooperation support to help improve this.

The project processes the lessons learned in the different areas of activity so that they can be used in other cities.

The project cooperates closely with the other German international cooperation activities in the priority area Adaptation to Climate Change in Cities. However, it is the first project supported by Germany that addresses the issue of internal climate-induced migration. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is funding the project with 5,000,000 Euros and the European Union (EU) is contributing 10,000,000 Euros.