The Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) stretches over 6,000 km from Morocco in the West to Iran in the East. Despite significant sub-regional differences, the entire area is facing similar challenges. The MENA countries are coping with an increasing water deficit, while striving to achieve a self-sustaining agriculture. The region only contains 1.4% of the world’s freshwater resources, making it one of the world’s most water-scarce regions.
This water scarcity and recent economic instability has left its population even more vulnerable to food insecurity.
Energy production in the region still strongly relies on fossil fuels, even though there is a high potential for renewable energies and 30 million people in the Arab region still remain without access to electricity. In addition, the countries are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Fulfilling MENA’s high demands requires an understanding of the synergies, conflicts and compensations that connect water, energy and food with ecosystems.
Among the different intersectoral WEF Nexus, holistic solutions propsosed are:
• solar-powered irrigation systems
• solar desalination
• solar energy for waste-water treatment and reuse
• investments in biofuels and offshore agricultural to ensure food security and preserve scarce water resources.
There is a growing recognition in the region to adopt the Nexus approach, fostered by several single- and multi-state ministries and institutions.
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