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Saudi Arabia Joins the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

by Madaline Dunn

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has formally joined the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), a global coalition aimed at mobilising political, technical, and financial capital to prepare for intensifying droughts. 

Indeed, it was shared that one-quarter of the world’s population is already affected by drought, and three out of four people are projected to face water scarcity by 2050. 

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 100 per cent of the population will live with extremely high water stress by 2050.

Launched at COP27 by the leaders of Spain and Senegal, IDRA membership now comprises 37 countries and 28 intergovernmental and research organisations.

HE Eng. Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen Al Fadley, Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, commented: “We see IDRA as an opportunity to protect our societies and economies in the face of drought. As hosts of the largest-ever UN conference on land and drought this December, one of our priorities is to further the countries commitment to a drought-resilient future.”

Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain, Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge and IDRA Co-Chair Teresa Ribera, said: “The Alliance is as strong as the knowledge, experiences, and networks contributed by its members. I invite world leaders to join IDRA to transform the way humanity tackles drought, building our collective defenses before crises strike.”

UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw said that while droughts are a natural phenomenon, we are “turbo-charging” them by degrading our lands and disrupting the climate. 

“In the lead up to the UNCCD COP16, I urge countries to raise their ambitions for healthy lands and drought-resilient societies and economies.”

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