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Iraq drought impacts potable water supply, crop yields

October 25, 2022

BAGHDAD: In drought-hit Iraq, six out of 10 households have had their access to drinking water disrupted and a quarter of farmers have seen crop yields drastically fall this year, said a survey published on Monday.

Iraq has been battered by three years of drought, low rainfall and reduced river flows, and the United Nations has ranked it the fifth most vulnerable country to some key effects of climate change.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an aid group active in the oil-rich but war-scarred country, surveyed 1,341 households in August in five provinces including Basra, Nineveh and Anbar.

“We are seeing the continued damage from Iraq´s climate and water crisis,” said James Munn, the NRC´s country director, in a statement released alongside the survey findings. “People are witnessing their fertile land and crops vanish year after year.”

The NRC study found that “the crisis has had an immediate impact on access to drinking and irrigation water as well as on the production of crops,” causing 35 percent of households to reduce the amount of food they consume.