Given the potential impact of continued droughts in Iraq, some national officials and experts have asked for United Nations assistance in planning for and in mitigating the dangers of prolonged dry spells. The call came at the Workshop on Integrated Drought Preparedness and Management in Iraq organized by the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “Let us hope that this momentum gained here will now be the force that moves Iraq forward in placing early preparedness and planning at the centre of government drought management efforts,” said Casey Walther, UNESCO representative at the workshop. An onset of droughts in northern Iraq four years ago had driven more than 100,000 people from their homes, according to a UNESCO report released in October of last year. (U.N. News Service)

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