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A
POWERFUL
VOICE
FOR
LIFESAVING
ACTION


For
Immediate
Release:

August
10,
2009

Contact:

Vanessa
Parra,
202‐904‐0319;

vanessa@refugeesinternational.org


Refugees
International
to
Establish
New
Center
on
Climate
Displacement


Washington,
DC
‐‐
Refugees
International
announced
plans
to
establish
the
Ken
and

Darcy
Bacon
Center
for
the
Study
of
Climate
Displacement
today.
The
Center
will

use
Refugees
International's
successful
advocacy
model
to
work
towards
stronger

policies
and
structures
that
meet
the
needs
of
the
tens
of
millions
of
people
expected

to
be
displaced
by
climate
change
in
the
coming
decades.

"I
wanted
to
make
this
gift
to
ensure
that
Refugees
International's
mission
can

incorporate
the
global
changes
that
will
create
displacement
in
future
years,"
said

Ken
Bacon,
president
of
Refugees
International
since
2001,
who
is
currently
battling

melanoma
and
is
on
leave.
"Climate
change
will
force
millions
of
people
from
their

homes
and
this
will
pose
enormous
challenges
to
an
already
stressed
humanitarian

system.
Refugees
International
is
uniquely
situated
to
ensure
these
people
don't
fall

through
the
cracks."

A
generous
donation
by
Ken
and
Darcy
Bacon
provided
the
seed
money
for
the
new

center,
which
will
be
a
new
program
within
Refugees
International.
The
UN

Foundation,
Refugees
International
board
member
and
actor
Sam
Waterston,
and

other
members
of
RI's
board
of
directors
have
matched
their
initial
donation.

Refugees
International's
other
priorities
include
improving
the
global
response
to

neglected
crises
and
internal
displacement,
increasing
support
for
people
who

return
home
when
wars
end,
strengthening
UN
peacekeeping
efforts,
and
achieving

citizenship
for
stateless
people.

The
most
immediate
threats
from
climate
change
are
in
the
form
of
storms
of

increasing
intensity,
such
as
Cyclone
Nargis
in
Burma;
greater
incidence
of
drought

and
floods
that
make
traditional
livelihoods
unsustainable;
and
increased
conflicts

over
access
to
limited
resources.
The
war
in
Darfur
derives,
in
part,
from
conflict

over
scarce
resources
as
the
desert
expands.
Other
dramatic
impacts
are
also

predicted
in
the
long
term,
such
as
the
disappearance
of
island
states
like
the

Maldives.
Estimates
of
the
numbers
of
people
expected
to
be
displaced
by
climate

change
range
from
50
million
to
1
billion
over
the
next
50
years.
By
comparison,

there
are
currently
41.2
million
people
displaced
by
conflict.

"I
am
grateful
to
the
UN
Foundation,
Sam
Waterston
and
others
who
support
this

vision
to
place
Refugees
International
at
the
forefront
of
this
issue,"
added
Mr.

Bacon.
"Policy
makers
regularly
rely
on
Refugees
International's
unbiased,
field‐
based
recommendations
to
resolve
refugee
crises.
Meeting
the
challenge
of
climate

displacement
will
now
be
our
next
step.
When
I
came
to
Refugees
International

eight
years
ago,
one
of
my
goals
was
to
expand
the
scope
of
its
work
and
I
am
proud

of
how
far
we
have
come.
This
center
will
help
us
work
with
other
organizations
on

a
critical
challenge
for
the
future."


Refugees
International
advocates
for
lifesaving
assistance
and
protection
for

displaced
people
and
promotes
solutions
to
displacement
crises.
The
organization

was
started
in
1979
to
advocate
for
the
protection
of
Indochinese
refugees.
To
learn

more,
including
how
to
support
the
Ken
and
Darcy
Bacon
Center
for
the
Study
of

Climate
Displacement,
go
to:
www.refugeesinternational.org/climate‐displacement.