Benefits and Costs of Action and Inaction on Drought

Significant progress has been made over the past decade to improve our understanding of droughts and their impacts. However, several questions remain, including the real costs to a country’s economy, and whether the price of preparing for droughts is worth the cost. A new study released by the WMO/Global Water Partnership (GWP) Integrated Drought Management Programme seeks to answer these questions. The working paper  – part of efforts to support the development of more proactive drought policies and better predictive mechanisms  – reviews an extensive range of literature on the benefits of action and costs of inaction of drought mitigation and preparedness.

Following its release, the World Bank, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Integrated Drought Management Programme organized a joint workshop on the topic in Washington DC on 26-27 April. Participants explored the benefits of action and the costs of inaction of drought preparedness, which includes the evolution of resilience across time scales, namely how lessons on proactive drought management have been learned (and which actions were taken) over time and in different sectors. The study is available in English at

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