Drought is the most relevant hazard in South Africa and Ukraine in terms of economic losses. Both countries experience drought conditions on a regular basis with particular impact on the agricultural sector. Ukraine has experienced severe drought conditions every two to four years, whereas in South Africa extreme droughts have occurred every two to seven years along with El Niño events. The impact of drought on agriculture does not only depend on the lack of rainfall and/or soil moisture deficit in a region, but also on the exposure and the vulnerability of the agricultural system and the people depending on it. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), adopted by the United Nations member states in 2015, highlights the urgent need to shift thinking from reactive, hazard-centered disaster management to proactive disaster risk management and risk reduction.
Understanding drivers of disaster risk must be a top priority for us,” stated Dr. Yvonne Walz, lead author of the newly released policy report. “With this new policy report we want to highlight to planners and decision-makers the added value of complementing existing drought hazard monitoring systems with drought risks assessments in order to develop targeted risk reduction strategies.” Read the full policy report here.