World Met Office encourages countries to establish drought policiesListen /
Countries around the world are being urged by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to develop national policies to deal with the hazards of drought.
WMO says that different parts of the planet are currently experiencing drought conditions, with the United States facing the longest 12-month period of drought since climate records were kept in 1895.
It says India is also suffering serious drought, affecting food production.
Dr. Mannava Sivakumar, Director of the Climate Predication and Adaptation Branch at WMO in Geneva, says policies should include components such as a vulnerability assessment and early warning systems.
"We hope that a couple of years from now when the same sort of droughts occur, there will be an effective system in place that will help the communities that are most affected by droughts. And the communities that are most affected are the poorest of the poor. Most of them are not educated, they really do not know where to go, and a policy like this, we believe, will be really very effective in helping such poor communities."
Dr. Sivakumar announced plans for a high-level meeting on National Drought Policy in March 2013.