Three UN entities call for proactive approach to tackle drought

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Michel Jarraud

Three United Nations entities are calling for a more proactive approach to deal with drought instead of passive crisis management.

The heads of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization  (FAO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification issued a joint statement on Thursday at a week-long meeting in Geneva discussing national policies on drought.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says knowledge and tools are available to prevent drought from becoming disasters and triggering famines.

"The drought in the Horn of Africa in 2010 in a sense was a good example. It was predicted well in advance and a number of measures were taken but mostly in an ad hoc fashion and we believe that it's important to do it now in a more organized fashion and that will help to minimize further the humanitarian tragedy. As we speak, I understand that more than 10 million people are severely food insecure in the Sahel, a region of the world which unfortunately has suffered recurrent repeated droughts and serious degradation of land." (31")

Mr. Jarraud says one of the complicating factors is climate change which is occurring as a result of human activities.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'13"

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