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Drought in Numbers 2022 – restoration for readiness and resilience

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – Drought around the world (1900-2022)

  • “More than 10 million people lost their lives due to major drought events in the past century, causing several hundred billion USD in economic losses worldwide, and the numbers are rising (Guha-Sapir, D. et al., 2021)
  • Severe drought affects Africa more than any other continent, with more than 300 events recorded in the past 100 years, accounting for 44 percent of the global total. More recently, sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the dramatic consequences of climate disasters becoming more frequent and intense (Taylor et al., 2017; Guha-Sapir, D. et al., 2021)
  • In the past century, 45 major drought events occurred in Europe, affecting millions of people and resulting in more than USD 27.8 billion in economic losses. Today, an annual average of 15 percent of the land area and 17 percent of the population within the European Union is affected by drought (Guha-Sapir, D. et al., 2021; European Environment Agency, 2017)
  • In the U.S., crop failures and other economic losses due to drought have totaled several hundred billion USD over the last century – USD 249 billion alone since 1980 (NOAA-NCEI, 2021)
  • Over the past century, the highest total number of humans affected by drought were in Asia (Guha-Sapir, D. et al., 2021)…”

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