1-2 February 2018 − Rome, Italy − UNCCD has presented its new Drought Initiative to the UN-Water members and partners who gathered for the 28th UN-Water meeting at the IFAD Headquarters in Rome to discuss global water challenges.
The preparations for the first phase of the Drought Initiative are in full swing with the focus on helping countries develop national drought preparedness plans. The initiative has been adopted by the recent UNCCD COP13 in Ordos, China in response to the growing need to assist countries, communities, agriculture, businesses and individuals threatened by drought − a disaster that has a negative effect on a broad spectrum of social and economic aspects, from food production to public health.
The UNCCD secretariat aims to implement the Initiative in the biennium 2018−2019 by taking action on:
• national drought preparedness plans
• regional efforts to reduce drought vulnerability and risk, and
• a toolbox to boost the resilience of people and ecosystems to drought
By being prepared and acting early, people and communities can develop resilience against drought and minimize its risks. UNCCD experts can help country Parties review or validate existing drought measures and prepare a national drought plan to put all the pieces together, identify gaps and ensure that necessary steps are taken as soon as the possibility of drought is signaled by meteorological services. It is envisaged that such a plan would be endorsed and eventual action triggered at the highest political level.