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UN lists Pakistan among 23 drought-hit countries


UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan is among 23 countries in the world facing the bleak prospects of drought over the past two years, according to a UN report.

The report released by the United Nations Conven­tion to Combat Desertifica­tion ahead of the UN Desertification and Drought Day on June 17 says over the past century, the highest total number of humans aff­e­cted by drought was in Asia.

The 22 other countries apart from Pakistan listed in this UN report include Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, US and Zambia.

By 2050, an additional 4 million square kilometres of natural areas, equivalent to the size of India and Pakistan, would require drought restoration measures, the report said.

It further warned that up to 40 per cent of the planet’s land is degraded, which affects half of humanity and threatens roughly 50 per cent of the global GDP worth USD 44 trillion.

The nations’ current pledge to restore 1 billion hectares by 2030 would require USD 1.6 trillion this decade, a fraction of today’s annual USD 700 billion in fossil fuel and agricultural subsidies.

At no other point in modern history has humanity faced such an array of familiar and unfamiliar risks and hazards, interacting in a hyper-connected and rapidly changing world, the report added.

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