United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Union for the Mediterranean Collaboration on Land Degradation Drought, Desertification in the Mediterranean Region
Drought is considered one of the most far-reaching natural disasters, bringing short and long-term economic and social losses to millions of people worldwide. Many countries across the globe that soon may face the impacts of intense drought still lack a comprehensive plan of action at the first signs of drought. Drought and water scarcity -interconnected phenomena that often aggravate each other’s effects- can trigger major setbacks for the most disadvantaged populations: from famine to migration and displacement. A single year of drought can undermine years of social development, in particular for vulnerable members of society. Water scarcity alone could cost some regions up to six percent of their GDP by 2050, in turn triggering mass migration and conflict over diminishing resources. In 2017, drought led to the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, when 20 million people across Africa and the Middle East came to the brink of starvation, according to UN-OCHA.
Authors: Union for the Mediterranean / United Nations