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 set back 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 the 2018 United Nations/World Bank High Level Panel on Water, 40 per cent of the world’s population is affected by water scarcity, with as many as 700 million people at risk of being displaced as a result of drought by 2030.  A lack of water – often the outcome of drought  – is already  fueling migration due to its impacts on people’s livelihoods.
Learn more about the UNCCD Drought Initiative here.

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