Key Findings of ‘Drought in Numbers, 2022’ report

“Drought in Numbers, 2022” report was presented recently by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The report involves the collection of data on the effects of droughts globally and how droughts can be mitigated.

What did the report say about India?

According to the report, many regions in India are vulnerable to drought. Due to severe droughts, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India declined by 2%-5% between 1998 and 2017.

What are the findings regarding other regions?

23 countries including Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Pakistan, and the USA faced drought emergencies between 2020 and 2022.

The African continent suffered the most due to droughts. The Mediterranean and the Atlantic regions of Europe will witness the largest increase in drought losses. The increasing instances of wildfires in Australia are due to droughts.

What is the impact of droughts?

Drought is the second-worst disaster after flooding. Globally, the number and duration of droughts increased by 29% since 2000.

Between 1998 and 2017, droughts caused economic losses of around USD 124 billion globally. From 2000-19, globally, more than a billion people were affected by drought. According to FAO, annually more than 12 million ha of land is lost due to droughts.

Women are more vulnerable to droughts, due to their gender-specific roles in society and their huge dependence on nature. Due to droughts, women face difficulties regarding education, nutrition, health, and sanitation.

How will droughts affect in coming years?

According to World Bank, droughts will force around 216 million people to migrate by 2050.  Climate change alone will cause more than 100 countries to experience an increase in drought exposure in the coming years.

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