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: 2015 to 2018

Bangladesch © GIZ


Climate change is one of the major threats for Bangladesh now and in future. As more people are forced to leave their areas of origin and move to other regions throughout the country, the social stability might be undermined in the long run. For poor and vulnerable households, migration is an important strategy for adapting to the changing circumstances. However, internal migration can consolidate acute vulnerability and increase the risk of conflicts if the migrants end up in urban slums without access to basic infrastructure, income opportunities or state support. The decision to migrate has many causes. Social, economic and political factors play a part, as well as climate and weather patterns.

Until today 40 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts are affected by the impacts of climate change. It is estimated that about six million people have already migrated as a result of climate change. A particularly high proportion of migrants are found in the divisional capitals of Khulna and Rajshahi. To date, no needs-oriented measures have been undertaken to improve the living conditions of the climate migrants there.


Living conditions have improved for climate migrants in selected settlements of the partner cities, Rajshahi and Khulna, through demand-oriented measures.

Bangladesch © GIZ


The project, which is part of the special initiative “Tackling the Root Causes of Displacement – Reintegrating Refugees,” works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It operates in three areas to improve the living conditions of climate refugees in the partner towns.

  • The first area of activity involves promoting information and knowledge exchange on climate-related migration, supporting the needs of climate migrants, and carrying out capacity building measures.
  • The second area consists of planning and implementing labour-intensive work for the construction and extension of basic urban infrastructure, such as water and energy networks. Such measures generate short and medium term income opportunities for climate migrants and other poor households.
  • In the third area, the project works together with local small and medium-sized enterprises to develop vocational training programmes. As an integrated approach, this benefits climate migrants and other residents of the settlements in equal measure, providing them with improved basic urban infrastructure, vocational training opportunities and temporary employment in labour-intensive jobs.

The project collaborates closely with other German development cooperation projects in the priority area Adaptation to Climate Change in Urban Areas. However, it is the first project with German support to address the topic of climate-related (internal) migration.

Further support for implementation is provided by the GFA Consulting Group.