06/09/2021

Thirteen humanitarian organizations release joint statement warning of imminent water crisis in Iraq and Syria

SYRIA / IRAQ – Thirteen relief organizations working in Syria and Iraq have warned that more than 12 million people in these two countries are currently suffering from inadequate amounts of water, food, and electricity. The organizations noted that water resources particularly under threat of collapse.

The organizations, which included the Norwegian Refugee Council and War Child, declared that high temperatures and low levels of rainfall prevent people from obtaining drinking water and irrigating crops.

Regional Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council Carsten Hansen believes that the complete collapse of the water sources, necessary for the food production process for millions of Syrians and Iraqis, is imminent.

Hansen pointed out that, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis still internally displaced and some continuing to flee to Syria to survive, the worsening water crisis will soon turn into an unprecedented disaster that will push more people into displacement.

The statement highlighted that increased temperatures resulting from climate change also increase the risks and severity of drought. Water scarcity leads to other issues such as electrical power outages, especially due to low water levels in dam reservoirs, which affects basic infrastructure operations including hospitals.