"Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it", Mizutori said.
The UN says that in 1998-2017, the disaster caused economic damage in the amount of 124 billion dollars, affecting more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.
Currently, the global warming made the droughts in Southern Europe and Western Africa even worse, and the number of casualties can "grow drastically". Thus, according to organization, approximately 130 countries can face greater risks of drought already in this century.
Reuters also quoted Ibrahim Thiaw, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification. According to him, "deteriorating soil, caused in part by poor land management, had brought the world close to "a point of no return".