Building drought resilience to reduce poverty
Drought is a silent killer. As deadly and destructive as flood, its effects are not immediately visible, but can have severe and long-lasting effects on livelihoods, health, economies and ecosystems. In the past 50 years, drought is responsible for the death of over 700,000 people and economic losses of over 260 billion USD. Despite efforts to mitigate the drought risk, the impacts of drought on communities, economies, and ecosystems are increasing in most regions, particularly in developing countries. The Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) supports governments and other stakeholders at all levels on implementing integrated drought management by providing policy, technical and management guidance and by sharing scientific knowledge and best practices through maintaining the Integrated Drought Management HelpDesk.
The wider scope of the Programme is to build climate resilience, reduce economic and social losses, and alleviate poverty in drought-affected regions of the world through an integrated approach to drought management, which cuts across sectoral, disciplinary and institutional jurisdictions and is responsive to specific regional and national needs and requirements.
Based on the High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policies, IDMP is promoting the three-pillar approach, which has been successfully applied to mitigate drought risk and increase drought resilience in many countries and locations around the world. The three pillars of an integrated drought policy and management are:
- Monitoring and early warning,
- Risk and impact assessment, and
- Risk mitigation, preparedness and response.
The central objective of the Programme is to support stakeholders at all levels by providing policy and management guidance and by sharing scientific information, knowledge and best practices for integrated drought management.
While the spatial scope is global, the results are policy relevant and tailored to specific regional and national needs and requirements. The overarching approach for the Programme centres around four key principles:
- Shifting the focus from reactive (crisis management) to proactive measures through drought mitigation, vulnerability reduction and preparedness,
- Integrating the vertical planning and decision-making processes at regional, national and community levels into a multi-stakeholder approach that includes key sectors, especially agriculture and energy,
- Promoting the evolution of the drought knowledge base and establishing a mechanism for sharing knowledge and providing services to stakeholders across sectors at all levels, and
- Building capacity of various stakeholders at the regional, national and community levels
The Integrated Drought Management Programme is a joint initiative between the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and WMO. In addition, the Programme is supported by 30 expert institutions providing technical support and advice as partners. An international Management Committee and an Advisory Committee steer and guide the overall implementation of the Programme. Membership of these committees comprise representatives of collaborating partners and technical experts. A Technical Support Unit based in Geneva, Switzerland, assists in the technical implementation of the Programme. IDMP draws on the experience of the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM), shares the experiences of GWP Regional and Country Water Partnerships and provides the scientific basis for managing weather, climate and water extremes through WMO. Regional Integrated Drought Management Programmes are being implemented in Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP CEE), the Horn of Africa (IDMP HOA) and Western Africa (IDMP WAF). Regional initiatives are also carried out in South Asia, Central America and South America.