Iraqis are enduring a summer season of blazing heat and blowing dust storms. While causing acute issues, these two challenges are long-term problems—with few ready-made solutions for managing the broader impacts. Nevertheless, the green shoots of action by the government and civil society are poking through the increasingly arid soil.
In 2019, the UN Environment Programme ranked Iraq as the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change and desertification. In a report published last November, the World Bank similarly predicted that Iraq would face severe water scarcity by 2030, with less than 1,000 cubic meters available per person each year.
“A 20% reduction in water supply with changes in crop yields that will accompany climate change could reduce real GDP in Iraq by up to 4 percent, or 6.6B USD, compared to 2016 levels,” the World Bank said...
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