The Near East region is hard hit by recurrent droughts that affect food security, damages natural resources and hinders overall economic development. This phenomenon is becoming more alarming as both frequency and severity are likely to increase as a result of climate change. In view of the extent of the problem, actions taken at the level of individual countries, although essential, would have limited effect in comparison with the synergy created by regional efforts. To this end, the Regional Office fosters close cooperation between countries of the region on one hand, and with the rest of the world on the other, with the aim of elaborating regional, as well as national, strategies to tackle the issue of drought, not only as an emergency, but also, and most importantly for the medium and long terms. The overall objective is to assist countries to deal with drought as a natural phenomenon, by incorporating preventive and curative drought mitigation measures in their regular development plans.
This is accomplished through:
Providing technical assistance to member countries for the development of adequate strategies and plans, and for their implementation, Developing technological packages adapted to drought management, Fostering regional cooperation at various levels to create the synergy necessary for the preparation and response to drought, Providing assistance for the transfer of technology through capacity building, collecting and dissemination of information, and the exchange of experience.
The Ojos Negros Research Group
4. DROUGHT MITIGATION
Drought is a natural hazard, it has a slow onset, and it evolves over months or even years. It may affect a large region and causes little structural damage. The impacts of drought can be reduced through preparedness and mitigation. The components of a drought preparedness and mitigation plan are the following: