International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

The International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) was launched on November 7 during the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

What is IDRA?

Spain and Senegal jointly launched the IDRA to promote cooperation to increase preparedness against future droughts. The Alliance has 30 countries and 20 organisations. It seeks to create a shift in how the world responds to the growing drought risks by moving away from emergency responses to creating a long-term resilience.

The IDRA was first announced by Spain at the 77th session of the UNGA in September this year. This grouping will make drought resilience a priority in the national development. It will also provide platform for sharing drought-related technology and expertise. It will be collaborating with other international platforms to achieve the universal coverage of early warning systems and regional initiatives to achieve maximum benefits.

The establishment of the IRDA is significant since there are no conventions for land other than the UNCCD, which mainly focuses on desertification. This alliance provides a “specific solution” for the UN to mitigate the impact of droughts.

Political commitments, including the 5 million euro (Rs 40.76 crore) seed fund announced by Spain, will fund the works of the IRDA. It will help the alliance to mobilize additional resources to achieve the goal of making the world resilient to drought by the end of this decade.

Drought – the current scenario

Drought is among the worst threats that are hindering the world’s progress towards sustainable development. It is posing as a major challenge to all countries regardless of their economic status by threatening the livestock and agricultural sectors.

The recent occurrences of droughts have been more frequent and severe. According to the Drought in Numbers report compiled by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the frequency of droughts has surged by 29 per cent since 2000. Over 55 million people are affected each year. This year’s droughts in Europe, the United States, Australia, Chile, the Horn and Southern Africa showed that no country can escape the impact of droughts.

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