Over 40 percent of the world is drylands, where about 2.3 billon people live in nearly 100 countries. It accounts for up to 44% of all the world's cultivated systems. Many people living in drylands depend directly upon a highly variable natural resource base for their livelihoods, and about half of all dryland inhabitants - one billion people - are poor and marginalized. This accounts for close to half of the world's poor.
Fighting poverty and bringing development to communities in the drylands has been UNDP’s agenda since the 1970s. Today, UNDP supports development in the drylands using an integrated approach based on the Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP). The overall goal of IDDP 2 is to contribute to poverty reduction through the sustainable development of drylands, which will help make communities less vulnerable and will help people improve their livelihoods. IDDP helps populations in drylands to meet the challenges they are facing. Phase 2 of the programme, supported by the EU, was launched in 2010 and will run until 2014. The IDDP has programmes in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab States as well as regional and international initiatives.
EU supports UNDP's work on drought risk management
UNDP works with mainstreaming drough risk management into development planning and practices with the financial support from the EU and the governments of Finland and Japan.