N Africa, Mideast face drought threat
LONDON - Reuters
Over the past 40 years, droughts have become longer and more frequent in the region, where fresh water resources are among the world’s lowest, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
That will likely worsen due to climate change, it added.
The region must move away from simply responding to the effects of drought, and instead, implement robust plans that prepare for the worst, it said.
“We need to perceive and manage droughts differently, and shift from emergency response to more proactive policy and long-term planning to reduce risks and build greater resilience,” Rene Castro, deputy head at FAO’s climate office, said in a statement.
Swelling populations and food demands, combined with even scarcer water and land resources, could lead to a doubling of food prices and trigger civil unrest in some developing countries, the United Nations has said.
Water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of the world’s population, according to the U.N.’s 2018 World Water Development Report.