Climate, Peace and Security Fact Sheet Iraq (April 2022)


Iraq is highly vulnerable to climate change and its impacts. The country’s vulnerability is shaped by its physical exposure, a strong natural resource dependency and low adaptive capacity due to violent conflict, poverty, political instability and corruption. Iraq is particularly exposed to floods, droughts and dust storms, increasingly linked to temperature and precipitation variability.

  • Increasing temperatures, decreasing water availability and greater inter-annual variability in rainfall negatively affect agriculture, reduce household income and food availability, and exacerbate livelihood insecurity. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the adverse effects of climate change, due to pre-existing gender norms and persisting inequalities.

  • Low agriculture yields and loss of livelihoods contribute to increased urban migration, with urban challenges including the risk of social unrest and protests in host cities.

  • Armed groups and militias leverage the economic hardships, further exacerbated by the compounding effects of climate change, for recruitment and support.

  • Weak governance increases the opportunities for elite exploitation and corruption, which leads to further marginalization and exclusion that feed grievances and drive instability.