The Middle East has been the worst hit by significant rise in sand and dust storms, with major impacts on human health, according to United Nations scientists.
Iran and Kuwait are the most affected countries, largely because of sand and dust blowing in from Syria and Iraq.
Mismanagement of land and water amid conflicts in the region has been a key factor, as well as climate change.
Meteorologists say sand and dust storms are also happening in new places like some parts of central Asia.
Dry up of lakes has led to an increase in the intensity and frequency of sand dust storms in Iraq.