No country is immune to drought and its impacts on food, water, and energy security, forced migration and natural resource conflicts. Europe, the western United States, Chile, Australia, and the Horn of Africa have all suffered extreme droughts in recent years. These unprecedented droughts have far-reaching impacts on agriculture, energy, transportation, tourism, and human health.
From 1998 to 2017, drought generated economic losses of about US$124 billion across the world, not to mention the cost in human suffering and lives. Climate change is expected to increase drought frequency, severity, and duration in the short-term while the latest IPCC report projects that by 2030, drought will displace 700 million people in Africa alone.
The overwhelming evidence points to the need to shift from crises management to drought preparedness and adaptation measures that significantly reduce vulnerability and exposure at all levels. World leaders recognize the need for a global collaborative platform, with political engagement at the highest level and a network of implementing partners to support countries and communities considering their different circumstances.
Responding to these needs, the International Drought Resilience Alliance was first announced by Spain at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2022 to be officially launched at the UNFCCC COP27 in November 2022. The alliance is jointly convened by President of Senegal Macky Sall and President of the Government of Spain Pedro Sánchez. Interested members of the Alliance see the urgent need to pivot from emergency response to increasing drought resilience through a more coordinated and effective response.