-Incorporation of comprehensive governmental and private insurance and financial strategies into drought preparedness plans;
-Recognition of a safety net of emergency relief based on sound stewardship of natural resources and self-help at diverse governance levels;
-Coordination of drought programs and response in an effective, efficient and customer-oriented manner.
Heavy human and economic toll
Most recently, droughts have affected the Greater Horn of Africa and the Sahel region, the U.S., Mexico, Northeast Brazil, parts of China and India, Russia and Southeast Europe. The most vulnerable countries are in the world's drylands, with the poorest communities in Africa and parts of western Asia are at particular risk, FAO says.
The effects can last long after the rains return, with food remaining scarce and expensive and depleted water resources, eroded soils, weakened livestock, and legal and social conflicts lingering for years. Often, droughts are broken by major flood events, so they catch communities when they are most vulnerable, and add to the damages experienced.
Today, 168 countries claim to be affected by desertification, a process of land degradation in the drylands that affects food production and is exacerbated by drought.