LatestWomen and Girls suffer most when drought strikes impoverished and rural areas:...

Women and Girls suffer most when drought strikes impoverished and rural areas: UN

The UN has urged nations to resolve disputes over water supplies, stating that women and girls are the ones who suffer the most when drought strikes impoverished and rural areas, and water strategies worldwide must take this into account. The 2016 UN World Water Development Report identifies misuse and pollution of the world’s freshwater systems, coupled with the stress on water resources brought on by the climate crisis, as major causes of conflict.

The authors of the report discovered that people frequently ignore the benefits of sharing water and the opportunities to integrate cooperation over water resources into larger peace initiatives. Enhancing women’s and girls’ lives would also benefit from more collaboration on freshwater access.

In impoverished and rural communities across the world, women and girls are mostly responsible for gathering water, and inadequate sanitation contributes to girls’ school dropout rates and heightens women’s vulnerability.

The UN organization Unesco, which publishes the yearly water report, has Audrey Azoulay as its director general. She stated: “The risks of local or regional conflict increase as water stress increases.” Unesco’s message is clear: we need to move quickly to protect water resources and to strengthen regional and international collaboration in this field if we are to maintain peace.

The majority of water collection in rural and underdeveloped communities worldwide is done by women and girls, and poor sanitation increases the vulnerability of women and raises the school dropout rate of girls.

Director General Audrey Azoulay oversees the UN agency Unesco, which releases the annual water report. She said: “The risks of local or regional conflict increase as water stress increases.” Unesco’s message is clear: if we want to keep peace, we must act swiftly to safeguard water resources and to improve regional and global cooperation in this area.

“Water has most frequently been a tool, a target, or a victim of warfare, but it is not usually the cause of war,” the speaker stated. When pollution compromises water availability, when access to a water allotment is restricted, when demand outpaces supply, or when water supply and sanitation services are interrupted, water disputes can arise. These conflicts, which can vary from legal disagreements to violent altercations, frequently reflect social, political, environmental, and demographic factors unique to the event and the region
According to the research, forced migration, food insecurity, and other health risks—including specific risks for women and girls—are among the effects of water shortages and tensions surrounding water.

Connor added, “Targeting civilian water infrastructure expressly forbidden by international humanitarian law, especially the Geneva Convention. Human-rights-based strategies and agreements over globally shared waters are two instruments used at the international level to advance peace through the water.

According to the report, wars worldwide exacerbated by disputes over water. Nevertheless, Alvaro Lario, the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and chair of UN-Water, claims that while the importance of water in conflict frequently mentioned, not enough emphasis placed on the possibility of cooperation over water to create or maintain peace.

“Water may bring about peace and prosperity if its managed fairly and responsibly. It is also the primary socioeconomic engine for billions of people and the very lifeblood of agriculture, the speaker claimed.

The depletion of freshwater resources in certain regions, pollution, and climate catastrophe have all contributed to the lack of progress in recent years on water-related issues. 2.2 billion people worldwide do not have access to a clean drinking water source, and about half of the world’s population does not have access to sanitary sanitation. While being one of the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030, the amount of unmet needs in the globe has significantly increased over the last 20 years.

Rather, more people will probably impacted by water shortages in the future if current trends continue. The largest report on water globally scheduled to released this September by the Global Commission on the Economics of Water. This report is independent of UN-Water’s annual World Water Development Report and will show that by the end of this decade, freshwater demand will exceed supply by 40%.

Approximately 50% of the global population faced acute water scarcity in 2022, with over 1.4 billion people suffering from droughts between 2002 and 2021.

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