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    Drought a major cause for food crisis: UN agency

    New York (PTI): Addressing the problem of drought is essential in resolving food crisis that is being faced by several countries, the United Nations agency, tasked with minimizing the threat posed by natural disasters, said on Saturday.

    Both drought and unsustainable water management have played a key role in the current problem, and managing drought risk is essential in finding a long-term solution to the crisis, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) said.

    Reports of UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that the world is warming due to human activity with potentially disastrous effects like worsening drought in some regions and heavier rainfall in others.

    "Drought creeps, so we can outrun it," said Salvano Briceqo, Director of the ISDR Secretariat. "But this will take a genuine mindset and policy shift towards the ethos that prevention is better than cure, and serious political and economic commitment to saving harvests and lives on a global economic level."

    Major food exporters such as Australia and Ukraine are experiencing the effects of drought, serving as examples of how climate change can trigger future food crises, it said.

    Water scarcity contributes to food scarcity, and, as the IPCC has pointed out, billions of people are at the risk of water stress by the end of the century unless carbon emissions are slashed and urgent adaptation actions are taken, it added.

    ISDR said that a greater emphasis must be placed on disaster risk, urging communities and nations to enhance their defences against global warming, drought and desertification through such measures as improved water management.


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