Presiden Barack Obama has declared a state of disaster in the Marshall Islands, as the nation suffers its worst-ever drought.

“The disaster declaration, which follows a request from Marshallese president Hilda Heine on 1 April, will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide emergency relief to the archipelago, which is suffering one of its worst-ever droughts,” The Guardian reports.

Water is being “carefully distributed,” with residents in the capital of Majuro “given an allocation once a week for a four-hour period.”

Poverty is widespread in the Marshall Islands, as seen on Ebeye.
Poverty is widespread in the Marshall Islands, as seen on Ebeye. Chad Blair/Civil Beat

The Marshalls rely on consistent rainfall for its water supply, but strong El Niño conditions have led to severe drought conditions.

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is one of three Micronesian nations party to a treaty with the U.S. that allows for easy immigration to America, especially Hawaii.

As Civil Beat has reported, global warming is a serious threat to the survival of the Compact of Free Association nations and could lead to a mass exodus.

The Marshalls were one of the most vocal nations calling for a 1.5 celsius limit to the global temperature increase at the Paris climate talks last year.

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