UNDRR Report on Drought

The report titled “Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Special Report on Drought 2021” was published on June 18, 2021 by UNDRR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction). It will be a part of discussions at vital UN climate talks called Cop26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November 2021.

Key findings

  • As per the report, Drought is a hidden global crisis which can become “the next pandemic” if no urgent action is taken on water & land management and tackling climate emergency.
  • About 1.5 billion people are directly affected by drought this century.
  • Economic cost was roughly estimated at $124bn. However, True cost is likely to be many times higher as these estimates do not include much impact in developing countries.
  • Most of world will be with water stress in next few years and demand will outstrip the water supply during certain periods.
  • Report highlights, drought is now widespread and by end of this century most of the countries will experience it in some form.

Scenario on Developed countries

Report highlights that, even the developed countries are not immune to drought. US, Australia and southern Europe have experienced drought in recent past. Drought costs more than us dollar 6 billion a year in US while euro 9 billion in EU. As per report, Population growth is also exposing more people to the impacts of drought in many regions.

Reasons for drought

Changing rainfall patterns because of climate breakdown are key driver of drought. However, report identifies inefficient use of water resources, degradation of land under intensive agriculture and poor farming practices also plays crucial role. Deforestation, overuse of fertilisers & pesticides, overgrazing & over-extraction of water for farming are some other factors.




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