Drought Monitoring for the Middle East and North Africa
Droughts in the Middle East and North Africa have caused terrible human and economic losses. In the normally semi-arid and arid countries of the region, any reduction in precipitation or increase in temperature can have a significant impact on people, compounding the problems of natural resource management for agriculture, seriously threatening human and animal welfare, and jeopardizing economic development.
While in some areas increased irrigation from groundwater and rivers can help to ease the impact of droughts, communities most at risk are agro-pastoralists who rely on rainfed agriculture. Too many of these communities are ill-equipped to counter the impact of droughts and the resulting economic and human losses can be severe. In response, various drought management guidelines have been developed for the region; however, the lack of timely and ongoing monitoring has hampered drought management and disaster responses by countries and international agencies.
This research project will design and seek regional support for a drought monitoring and early warning system for the region that will help countries better prepare for and be more resilient to future drought episodes.