Arab states face water emergency, urgent action needed, says UN

CAIRO: Arab states are facing a water supply emergency they need to coordinate an urgent response to, with per capita resources expected to fall by 50 per cent by 2050, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Thursday.
The Middle East and North Africa have suffered more than any other region from water scarcity and desertification, problems being complicated by climate change, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva told a meeting of Arab states in Cairo. In response, they needed to modernise irrigation techniques and coordinate water management strategies as a matter of urgency.
The per capita share of fresh water availability in the region is already just 10 per cent of the world average, according to the FAO. Agriculture consumes more than 85 per cent of available resources.
“This is really an emergency problem now,” Graziano da Silva said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.
The meeting, attended by around 20 states, was the first of its kind at which ministers of both water and agriculture were present, an effort to improve coordination between different branches of government.
— Reuters