Droughts have deep, widespread and underestimated impacts on societies, ecosystems, and economies. They incur costs that are borne disproportionately by the most vulnerable people. The extensive impacts of drought are consistently underreported even though they span large areas, cascade through systems and scales, and linger through time, affecting millions of people and contributing to food insecurity, poverty, and inequality. Climate change is increasing temperatures and disrupting rainfall patterns, increasing the frequency, severity, and duration of droughts in many regions across the globe. As we move towards a 2˚C warmer world, urgent action is required to better understand and more effectively manage drought risk to reduce the devastating toll on human lives and livelihoods, and ecosystems. The GAR Special Report on Drought 2021 explores the systemic nature of drought and its impacts on achievement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the SDGs and human and ecosystems health and wellbeing.