Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Water scarcity becoming a critical issue for the Arab world – UN report

UN News Centre: Climate change, food insecurity, decreasing water availability and unemployment are among the multiple challenges facing the Arab region, according to a new assessment by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which calls for rational and sustainable use of resources and inclusion of the environment issues in decision making.

“This assessment has been a truly collaborative one outlining the progress but also the realities facing this diverse but also dynamic region where, if policies and resources are better focused could be a beacon of sustainable, green economic, development for millions of people,” said Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.

According to the report, Arab countries are now among the most water-scarce in the world with a “worrying decline in per capita water availability,” likely to be aggravated by climate change. Poverty remains a challenge in most countries in the region and unemployment is widespread at 13.7 per cent – more than twice the global average, according to latest estimates.

The report says the Arab region is predicted to be among the hardest hit by the potential of direct and indirect impacts linked with climate change…..

A well in Libya, shot in 1980, shot by Alexandrin, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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