MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd April, 2021) Climate change has been worsening water scarcity in Iraq, driving young people to poverty and onto the path of crime and terrorism, Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Inad said Thursday.
"Climate crisis led many Iraqis to leave their homes, their agricultural land and led to an increase in unemployment to 60% within the youth under 25, which will drive them towards crime and terrorism," he told a US-sponsored virtual climate summit.
The Basra province in southern Iraq has been the most affected by the years-long water crisis, with many people having to leave their homes because poor water supplies left them unable to sustain themselves through agriculture.
"Citizens who lack economic opportunities remain an easy prey to Daesh [IS, banned in Russia] and, unless we enable all citizens to go back to their homes... the danger will remain," Inad warned.
He attributed a rise of violence in the region to the rising sea levels and droughts. He said climate change was piling pressure on the nation's electrical grid, and the Iraqi government saw limited electric power as a threat to security.
"Iraq joining the Paris agreement is a step in the right direction. To use new energy and sustainability to stay on the face of this planet and to reduce emissions... I am working closely with my colleagues and the government to put together a plan so that we can fight this fight together," he said.