Arable land per person is shrinking throughout the world due to desertification, threatening food security, particularly in poor rural areas, and triggering humanitarian and economic crises.
“It is estimated that 135 million people – the combined populations of France and Germany – are at risk of being displaced by desertification.“
” Some 60 million are estimated to eventually move from the desertified areas of sub-Saharan Africa towards Northern Africa and Europe by the year 2020.”
- In the last 20 years, half of the male population in Mali migrated to neighbouring countries.
- In Burkina Faso, desertification is the cause for a 60% increase of population in urban centres.
- In Peru, due to the effect of El Nino and desertification affecting 41% of its land, there has been massive population movement.
- In Mexico, 47 percent of its land is affected by desertification causing vast population movements. Out of a total population of 91 million, an estimated 8 to10 million Mexicans every year have migrated to the United States in search of a more prosperous life.
- The six-year Sahelian drought and famine of 1968-1974 caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of animals to perish.
Date: 1 June 2004