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Spain and Portugal Request European Aid to Fight Ongoing Drought - Energy And Water Development Corp

Spain and Portugal Request European Aid to Fight Ongoing Drought


The Spanish and Portuguese gov­ern­ments have asked the European Commission to take mea­sures to help farm­ers on the Iberian Peninsula cope with the ongo­ing and severe drought.

Luis Planas, the Spanish min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture, fish­eries and food, requested more money from the Europe Commission’s stop­gap agri­cul­tural bud­get to help farm­ers com­bat the drought and more flex­i­bil­ity for using fal­low land.

Make the most of the CAP’s strate­gic plans to face the chal­lenges of low rain­fall so that farm­ers are pro­tected from pos­si­ble weather event.– Janus Wojciechowski, European Agriculture Commissioner

The stop­gap bud­get funds Europe’s agri­cul­tural sec­tor until the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) comes into force at the begin­ning of 2023.

Spain and Portugal have been expe­ri­enc­ing a dras­tic decrease in rain­fall over the last three decades. A severe drought that started late last year has grad­u­ally wors­ened deplet­ing water reser­voirs to record lows.

See Also: Andalusian Officials Criticize Loss of Funding for Farmers in Proposed Ag. Policy

Last month, Spain’s national mete­o­ro­log­i­cal agency said January 2022 was the dri­est January for almost 20 years, with Andalusia, Catalonia and Extremadura being the worst-hit regions.

In Portugal, 34 per­cent of the coun­try is expe­ri­enc­ing severe drought, while 11 per­cent is expe­ri­enc­ing extreme drought.

However, Europe’s agri­cul­ture com­mis­sioner told both coun­tries instead to take advan­tage of the abil­ity to form their own national strate­gic plans under the incom­ing CAP to help them deal with cli­matic chal­lenges.

Make the most of the CAP’s strate­gic plans to face the chal­lenges of low rain­fall so that farm­ers are pro­tected from pos­si­ble weather events,” Janus Wojciechowski said.

He added that all European coun­tries would need to put long-term mea­sures in place as cli­mate change will make water scarcity and droughts more com­mon, espe­cially for coun­tries in the Mediterranean basin.

A week before Planas tabled the request for the two coun­tries, Europe’s com­mis­sioner for gen­der equal­ity expressed con­cerns about the drought sit­u­a­tion in the Iberian Peninsula.

Helena Dalli said that the com­mis­sion was mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion closely via the satel­lite sys­tem and advised the two coun­tries to take advan­tage of avail­able instru­ments to mit­i­gate the drought.

Through the European Regional Development Fund and other CAP instru­ments, Portugal and Spain will be able to help farm­ers affected by cli­matic con­di­tions,” Dalli said.

Climate change will fur­ther aggra­vate water scarcity and the risk of droughts, affect­ing their fre­quency and mag­ni­tude, not only in the Iberian Peninsula but in the other south­ern coun­tries and other parts of the E.U.,” she added.





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