When coping crumples: a rapid assessment of the impact of drought on children and women in India

This document presents a rapid drought impact assessment that was carried out by UNICEF’s India Country Office in eight states with the aim of providing insights into drought management practices and their effectiveness. It identifies UNICEF’s role in supporting efforts to achieve long-term climate and disaster resilience. A contextual analysis was done of drought and drought-like situations over three to five drought years. The report explains the impacts on women and children due to various factors like climate variability, unstainable development decisions, and environmental degradation. It was observed that prolonged development deficits have increased insecurities and hardships for children, women and their families. Extended or repeated exposure to drought ends up exacerbating these inherent vulnerabilities. The study confirmed that ‘drought’ is created by the same socio-political processes that perpetuate vulnerabilities and their consequences. Within the complex drought picture composed of a multitude of causal factors, the consequences include hunger and drinking water stress created by unsustainable development practices.