A report by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has mentioned that the increased duration and number of droughts since 2000 has reduced India's gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 5 per cent. The number of droughts has increased by a massive 29 per cent in the last two decades, thus impacting over 1.4 billion people. The UN agency called for multiple actions, including land restoration, to reduce the risk. Globally, droughts caused economic losses worth roughly $124 billion in the last 20 years. Even though droughts contributed to only 15 per cent of the natural disasters, they took an enormous human toll, approximately 6,50,00 deaths in 50 years from 1979 to 2019.
Asia Worst Sufferer Due To Number Of Humans Affected
Moreover, with over 300 droughts in the last 100 years, Africa experienced the maximum number of droughts, which accounted for 44 per cent of the total count. However, Asia remained the worst sufferer due to the number of humans affected, The Times of India reported. Ibrahim Thiaw, the executive secretary of UNCCD, called for a total global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all regions as a top priority. He said, "We are at a crossroads in managing drought. We need to steer toward a solution rather than continuing with destructive actions, believing that systemic change can heal systemic failure".
40% Of All Ice-Free Land Degraded
Over 2.3 billion people worldwide will face water stress in 2022, and almost 160 million children will be exposed to severe and prolonged droughts. Previously, the UNCCD had released the 'Global Land Outlook' report, which highlighted that 40 per cent of all ice-free land has already been degraded globally. The dire consequences would be experienced on the climate, biodiversity and livelihoods, affecting 50 per cent of humanity.
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