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HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2017 Spring SessionDraft Report - 082 STC 17 E - FOOD AND WATER SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

FOOD AND WATER SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

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Draft Special Report [082 STC 17 E] by Osman Askin Bak (Turkey)

In a region that has the lowest per capita availability of water and arable land, food and water security are paramount factors for regional stability. Home to 5% of the global population, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has access to only 1% of the world’s water supply. Nevertheless, it has the highest percentage of total water resources withdrawal in the world.

As highlighted during the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw and through the work of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, transatlantic security is deeply affected by the security situation in the MENA region. The draft report identifies ways in which food and water shortages are intertwined with international security – humanitarian crises, migratory pressures, intra- and inter-state conflicts as well as food and water disputes. Moreover, the dire situation of food and water security in the MENA region is likely to worsen, due to demographics, climate change, as well as armed conflicts.  A major finding of this report, however, is that the water crisis and subsequent food insecurity is mainly a crisis of governance and a consequence of resource mismanagement, rather than a crisis of access to resources.

The report examines adaptation and mitigation strategies undertaken by regional governments to contain the consequences of decades of resource mismanagement. Amongst these solutions, both supply-oriented and market-oriented solutions are identified, as well as investment in the agricultural sector and regional cooperation. A snapshot of steps to be taken by MENA countries to tackle their long-term challenges closes the report, underlining a necessary, but politically costly, trade-off between short-term benefits and long-term gains. 

 

 

DOWNLOAD THE DRAFT REPORT HERE

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