Iraq + 1 more

GDO Analytical Report: Drought in Syria and Iraq – April 2021


Executive summary

  • Drought conditions are affecting eastern Syria and northern Iraq since early 2021 , especially in the governorates of Al-Hasakah (Syria) and Ninewa (Iraq), after poor winter precipitation. Coping capacity of population is very limited, due to the conflicts that ravaged the whole region in recent years, low-income and limited public services. Impacts are reported for agriculture. The international tensions are exacerbated in the area, due to competing interest in water resources.

  • Several months of below average precipitation since Autumn 2020 caused the current drought spell in Syria and Iraq. With a pronounced seasonality of rainfall and a naturally semi-arid climate, the annual water balance of these regions is entirely defined by the precipitation pattern between October and April, and deficits accumulated endure through the rest of the year.

  • The precipitation outlook until June 2021 is negative, with anomalous dry conditions to persist. Severe issues for irrigation, pasture biomass and water supply may be expected for several months ahead.