A report issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Norwegian Red Cross, Thursday, put forward pessimistic forecasts about the climate in three Arab countries that have been witnessing conflicts for several years.
The joint report focused on Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and said that the three countries are witnessing environmental deterioration and climate change with a decline in rainfall and water resources.
The United Nations classifies Iraq, which is still recovering from decades of conflict, as one of the countries in the world most affected by climate change. Syria is also in increasing danger after more than a decade of war that has devastated the country’s infrastructure.
In the midst of a civil war that has been going on for eight years, Yemen is classified as one of the countries most affected by the climate.
The report indicated that climate forecasts in Iraq indicate that there are some indications that the highlands in the north of the country will become drier.
As for the average annual precipitation, it is unlikely that there will be significant changes in the rest of the country, with heavy rain likely to occur on some occasions.
The report expected a rise in sea level in the Gulf waters.
With regard to the expected average annual temperatures, the report indicated that they will be 2-3 degrees Celsius higher than the average in the highlands and 2-4 degrees Celsius in the lowlands by 2050.
The report also predicted a decrease in the rate of water flowing into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a scarcity as a result of the increase in demand.
The report indicated that a slight change in rainfall rates is expected in the country, with the possibility of an increase in waves of heavy rain.
The report also predicted that the Mediterranean sea level would continue to rise, accompanied by more severe storms compared to previous years.
The report confirms that there is already a large warming wave in Syria, yet temperatures are expected to be 2-4 degrees Celsius higher by 2050.
With regard to the levels of the Euphrates River, the report suggested a decrease due to the decline in water imports.
The report predicted a sea level rise in the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman, as well as in the Arabian Sea, with the possibility of more severe storms in the country.
The temperature forecasts are similar to those reported in Iraq and Syria, with an expected increase rate of about 2-4 degrees Celsius by 2050.
With regard to water resources, the report expected a decline in food insecurity and its effects on marine ecosystems and fisheries.
The impact of conflicts
The report warned that these countries are among the most vulnerable to climate change, but they remain almost excluded from any financing related to combating this phenomenon.
The two organizations called for additional assistance, saying that the combined effects of climate change and armed conflict are exacerbating the humanitarian problems in this region.
As of January 2022, the Climate Funds database, which collects information from 27 funds, listed only 19 projects in Iraq, Syria and Yemen that had been approved for funding.
She said that the total amount that has been spent so far on these projects in the three countries is only 20.6 million dollars, which is less than 0.5 percent of the money that has been spent on projects related to combating climate change around the world.
Financing related to combating climate change is expected to be a central topic at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), to be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.