climate change is a growing threat, underlines the NGO which evokes
drought, rising temperatures and falling precipitation in recent years.
For its study, the NRC interviewed 2,806 households in 7 provinces, including al-Anbar (west), Basra (south) and Nineveh (north), traditionally considered Iraq’s breadbasket, but hit hard by crisis.
One in two families in drought-affected areas need food assistance, while one in five does not have enough to eat for everyone, underlines the NGO.
According to the study,
45% of 15-24 year olds have left their farming community to find work in the city, while 38% have lost a job.
Water, a commodity that is becoming scarce
Water is a crucial resource for Iraq, a country of 40 million inhabitants, extremely rich in hydrocarbons, but which also suffers from the drop in the level of its two mythical rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, because of the dams built upstream in neighboring Turkey and Iran.
According to the new NRC poll, 37% of farmers growing wheat and 30% of those planting barley saw their crops drop by at least 90%.
In addition, 37% of households surveyed
have lost livestock, sheep or goats in the past six months, mainly due to lack of water or fodder, or disease.
Families tell us they need to borrow money to eat, as prices rise and their savings shrink […]. Their land is drying up and there is nothing they can do about it, explains Maithree Abeyrathna, head of NRC programs in Iraq.
The World Bank had recently sounded the alarm, assuring that with a temperature rise of just one degree Celsius and a drop in rainfall of 10%, Iraq could experience a 20% drop in its water resources. soft by 2050.
The outlook for 2022 is worrying, with continuing water shortages and drought conditions likely to devastate the next farming season., warns the NRC.