Sustainable Path to Water Security Urgent Priority for Arab World
New World Bank report maps out actions needed to prevent water scarcity from impacting future growth and stability in the Middle East and North Africa
The people of the Arab region face an uncertain future. Millions are fleeing their homes to escape violence and millions more remain trapped by conflict or in occupied territory. The expanding population is placing increasing strain on the environment through unsustainable consumption of limited water supplies and abundant energy resources. The rentier economy that prevails in many countries has proven unable to adapt to new realities or absorb the growing and increasingly youthful labour force.
This report sets out the risks to food security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from climate change, and how these vulnerabilities interact with other key trends and sources of risk, including population growth, urbanisation, and conflict.
The Sultanate of Oman is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, with a population of 4 million and an economy predominantly dependent on oil. The country is one of the most water scarce in the world and climate change is likely to worsen drought and desertification, threaten water security and disrupt agricultural production. Rising temperatures increase the risk of heat-related morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, the incidence and severity of natural disasters, such as the cyclones experienced in recent years, are expected to rise.
In the Middle East and North Africa (MNA) , the interplay of natural disasters, rapid urbanization, water scarcity, and climate change has emerged as a serious challenge for policy and planning. This report aims to establish a more strategic and collaborative framework between the World Bank and its international partners, particularly United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and UN Development Program (UNDP), in order to assist MNA countries to shift from disaster response to proactive risk management.
By Berta Acero
RIYADH, 18 January 2013 - The Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf States (GCC) has called for strong regional commitment towards development of a disaster risk reduction strategy to strengthen the resilience of nations and individuals to natural hazards.
Amal Dababseh, November 21, 2012
The discussions in this booklet aim to address the complexity of risk in the Arab region, and present some tools which can be used by local governments, civil society and other institutions working in the field of environment and disaster risk reduction. In the Arab region the effects of human behavior on the environment has caused a growing concern since the early 1980s and from the end of the same decade the question of climate change has gradually received more attention.