Drought Assessment and Mitigation in Southwest Asia

IWMI’s Drought Assessment and Mitigation in Southwest Asia Project, funded by the US State Department in 2003-2005, aimed to identify technical and policy gaps in drought research and management in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan; enhance regional cooperation in drought management; and suggest tools for effective drought mitigation. The Project was carried out in collaboration with over 10 local partners – research institutes, ministries and NGOs.

Project outputs included the prototype on-line regional drought monitoring system, review of drought-related institutions and policies, analysis of meteorological drought risks, surveys of drought coping mechanisms in rural areas, and an assessment of water harvesting potential to withstand droughts. This work linked to 2002-2004 MTP Project 1, Output: “Improved tools for assessment, accounting, planning and use of water resources for agriculture and food production”.

Project outcomes included:

  • The initiation of community-based micro-watershed water supply activities in Afghanistan by Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a Project partner, based on the results of the Project’s assessment of drought preparedness in the country. CRS launched these activities in 2005 with a view of extending this work regionally
  • UNILEVER’s decision in May 2005 to fund an IWMI project to develop an on-line, knowledge-based system for disaster preparedness in Sri Lanka, focusing on drought and crop monitoring.
  • An MoU between IWMI and the Iran Ministry of Agriculture in December 2005 to establish a regional Drought Information Center focused on Droughts and Agriculture, which follows through on one of the Project’s recommendations.
  • Reproduction of several IWMI ‘drought’ publications in 2005 by several publishers including the European Commission in its recent monograph “Crop growth monitoring and yield forecasting in Russia and Central Asia”. In addition IWMI was invited to share the experience and results of the Project in Philippines, USA, and Korea


  • Drought Assessment and Mitigation in South West Asia. Synthesis report. 2005. IWMI, ISBN-92-9090-526-3
  • Dr K.Bhattacharyya, CRS-Afghanistan
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture Iran and IWMI, December 2005.