The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Iraq’s Ministry of Environment held a three-day national consultation event aimed at enhancing the country’s climate adaptation efforts.
The workshop focused on bolstering Iraq’s climate information system with the aim of having unified and consolidated data across the entire country and strengthening early warning mechanisms. The participants unanimously agreed that establishing an inter-ministerial technical committee and creating a roadmap to achieve this goal is of utmost importance.
The Ministry of Environment will disseminate the workshop’s recommendations to all stakeholders. This initiative marks a significant step in Iraq’s national efforts to address the repercussions of the climate crisis and pave the way for a more comprehensive and effective approach to climate information management in the country.
The workshop was attended by technical experts from ministries in the federal and Kurdistan region of Iraq, who are involved in collecting, analyzing, using, or are custodians of climate data, to facilitate efficient decision-making and promote the country’s ability to anticipate and respond to climate impacts.
Deputy Technical Minister of Environment Dr. Jassem Abdel Aziz stressed the pressing need for collaboration among ministries to address the effects of climate change in Iraq. He highlighted that working in isolation is no longer viable as climate change brings security, political, and economic challenges that lead to water scarcity, desertification, and salinization, all of which threaten food security. To address these challenges, Dr. Aziz emphasized the necessity of establishing a centralized climatic data center that collects, analyzes, and disseminates all climate data to communities and stakeholders, facilitating informed decision-making
“WFP is committed towards supporting the development of a comprehensive climate information system. This is of utmost importance to Iraq, and we believe it will provide integrated, accurate, and relevant data on climate change accessible to decision-makers including local governments, policymakers, and relevant ministries,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Iraq Ally-Raza Qureshi. “WFP will also work hand in hand with the government to unlock the various regional and international forecast-based financing mechanisms for achieving early warning and anticipatory actions in the country.”
Iraq’s Climate Envoy, Dr. Fareed Yasseen, reiterated the need to break down the barriers that limit climate data and information sharing between various ministries to strengthen the country’s position within the region and internationally in having a reliable and robust climate information system.