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Desertification and Drought Day 2022

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Drought is one of the most destructive natural disasters in terms of the loss of life, arising from impacts, such as widescale crop failure, wildfires and water stress. Exacerbated by land degradation and climate change, droughts are increasing in frequency and severity, up 29% since 2000, with 55 million people affected every year. By 2050, droughts may affect an estimated three-quarters of the world’s population. It’s a global and urgent issue.

“Recent droughts point at a precarious future for the world. Food and water shortages as well as wildfires caused by the severe drought have all intensified in recent years.

—Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary

Spain is Desertification and Drought Day 2022 host

This year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day will take place in Madrid, Spain. Spain is vulnerable to drought, water shortages and connected climate change impacts. The Spanish Government is at the forefront of dealing with these issues and has best practice to share.

“Drought is not just the absence of rain; it is often fuelled by land degradation and climate change. Together, we can overcome its devastating effects on people and nature around the world and start preparing now to drought-proof our future.”

—Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge

Key messages

  • Droughts have always been a part of nature and the human experience but are now much worse largely due to human activity.
  • Hardly any country is immune to drought, but all countries can prepare better to tackle drought effectively.
  • Drought is daunting, as its effects on people’s lives and livelihoods are devastating. But through ingenuity, commitment and solidarity, it can be addressed successfully.
  • Tools are available to assess drought risk. Solutions exist to ensure lives and livelihoods are no longer lost to drought.
  • Everyone can participate in actions that increase our collective resilience because every action counts.
  • Take action on this year’s Desertification and Drought Day and beyond
  • Action can be taken at all levels, from citizens, businesses, governments and UN partners, everyone can come on board and lend a helping hand to rise up from drought together.



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The numbers presented in the new publication on drought speak volumes about the urgency of addressing this pressing issue. To combat the negative effects of drought, global…