Iraqi drought crisis affects both crops and incomes countrywide

Farming communities in Iraq have seen their wheat, vegetable and fruit harvests decline for the second year in a row because of severe drought conditions. According to a new survey by the Norwegian Refugee Council  - ahead of the UN climate change conference (COP 27) in Egypt next month- households throughout the country will be increasingly vulnerable.

A quarter of the 1,341 households surveyed by NRC across five governorates this year said they witnessed over 90 per cent of wheat failure this season. A further 25 per cent said they had made no net profit out of their wheat crop for the entire year. Prolonged drought spells have forced one-quarter of farming families to rely on food assistance.

“We are seeing the continued damage from Iraq’s climate and water crisis,” said NRC’s Iraq Country Director James Munn. “People are witnessing their fertile land and crops vanish year after year. The lands that have fed a nation are drying up fast.”

A worsening climate and water crisis spells disaster for regions that have long relied on agriculture as the principal source of income and livelihoods. Should the current drought conditions continue to damage crops and harvests, Iraq’s farming communities will be forced from their lands to urban areas in search of alternative sources of income.


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