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عنوان واحد

Dust Storms and Climate Change

من Zeinab Shuker

A Crisis for the Iraqi Economy and the Need for Multilateral Solutions

This paper highlights the relationship between drought and sand and dust storms, the impact of these storms on Iraq’s rentier economy, and the dangers such conditions represent to the region. The paper calls for multilateral cooperation among Iraq and its neighbors to meet these challenges and to bring about an effective and sustainable climate response.

As the month of May arrived in Iraq this year, mild spring days gave way to a typical summer inferno. The heat ushered in sand and dust storms (SDSs), events that turn the sky orange and angry, the billows depositing thick layers of dust in their wake. While SDSs are not a new phenomenon in Iraq, meteorologists have documented a marked increase in the number and intensity of SDSs in the past 20 years. Baghdad experienced an annual average of 7.9 days of major dust storms from 1980 to 2015, compared to around ten such events since January 2022, each lasting for at least two to four days. International borders are irrelevant for this hazardous trend. One particular SDS that led to the hospitalization of 4,000 Iraqis in May
2022 subsequently tracked south to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and disrupted air traffic in Kuwait.

This paper highlights the relationship between drought and SDSs, the impact of these storms on Iraq’s rentier economy, and the dangers such conditions represent to the region. The paper calls for multilateral cooperation among Iraq and its neighbors to meet these challenges and to bring about an effective and sustainable climate response. Of unique importance is the impact of SDSs on Iraq’s economy, due to the immediate and long-term challenges that these weather events pose to oil production and the broader economy. With a few notable exceptions, scarce research exists examining the impact of SDSs on Iraq and for MENA economies. Without such research, targeted policy interventions will be insufficient and/or ineffective.

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اتصال

Michaela Balluff

Michaela Balluff

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

michaela.balluff@kas.de +961 1 388061/62 +961 1 388064

المقدمة من قبل

Foundation Office Syria and Iraq