International Drought Resilience Alliance launched at COP27

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Sharm El-Sheikh: To tackle the growing drought risks, leaders launched the International Drought Resilience Alliance here at the ongoing COP27 to accelerate action and help countries to be better prepared for future droughts.

The alliance was initiative of the Presidents of Senegal, Macky Sall, and Spain, Pedro Sánchez, supported by the over 25 countries and 20 organizations.

In the declaration made in the margins of Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference, the leaders from all sectors pledged to drive change in how the world tackles the growing drought risks, moving from “emergency response” to building “long-term resilience”.

According to the latest Drought in Numbers report compiled by UNCCD, droughts have increased in frequency by 29% since 2000, with some 55 million people affected every year.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected that droughts will be more frequent, severe and last longer.

The IPCC estimates that three out of every four people in the world will be living in drier, water-scare conditions by 2050.

As per estimate from 1998 to 2017, drought generated economic losses of about US$124 billion across the world and impacted 2.7 billion people worldwide and caused 11.7 million deaths between (1900 and 2019).

In a joint communication, Presidents Sánchez and Sall declared that “We are only as resilient to climate change as our land is. Building resilience to drought disasters is the way to secure the gains we make on each sustainable development goal, particularly for the most vulnerable people.

The Alliance will be bolstered by new political commitments, including a Euro 5 million seed fund announced by Spain, and a commitment made by the President of Kenya William Ruto to plant 5 billion trees in the next 5 years, and 10 billion trees in 10 years.

Among the key objectives of the Alliance is promoting the consolidation of regional initiatives to fast-track sharing of innovation, technology transfer and mobilization of resources.

As per the official statement, the Alliance will also collaborate with other platforms, including the initiative launched by the United Nations Secretary-General and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to achieve universal coverage of early warning systems and regional initiatives to reap the maximum benefits of working together on drought resilience.

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