Following the sand and dust storm that is affecting several countries in the Middle East, such as Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which started yesterday and is expected to extend until the end of the week, Mohamed Tazrouti, Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa Campaigner said: climate change is worsening these storms, they are becoming more frequent and intense in terms of spread, speed and concentration. The main cause of course is our global dependence on fossil fuels as a major source of energy.”

He continued: “These storms have a significant impact on human health, especially children, the elderly and those who suffer from health problems such as asthma and others. Therefore, we advise everyone to stay at home and not go out except if there is a necessity and wear masks in case you are out. The Middle East is a hot spot for these sand and dust storms, especially in summer. The concentration of dust and storms cost the MENA region more than $150 billion annually and more than 2.5% of the GDP of most countries in the region.”

”This is yet another sign of the vulnerability of our region and communities to the impacts of climate change. We therefore need to be playing a leading role in the global fight against climate change by strengthening our adaptation efforts and demanding that the biggest contributors of emissions take immediate and decisive measures to reduce their emissions and that we adopt development models that prioritize the well being of our communities and are designed to produce minimal carbon emissions across sectors,” Concluded Tazrouti.

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