Development agency says dry countries face ‘famine and food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and life, and the displacement of millions’
Climate change threatens conflict and poverty in the Arab region, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
In a report, published on Wednesday, the agency suggested climate risks could derail development gains, such as the decrease in infant mortality and the achievement of near universal primary education.
Mourad Wahba, director of UNDP’s regional bureau for Arab States said that the over the past decade cycles of drought, “the frequency and severity of which are beyond anything seen for hundreds of years in the region”, had contributed to “famine and food insecurity, loss of livelihoods and life, and the displacement of millions”.
The report found this could disrupt efforts to bring peace to the region. “Climate change with its direct impact on decreasing water and food security is feeding armed conflict,” the UNDP paper concluded.
The Arab region has 14 of the world’s 20 most water-stressed countries and 90% of the region lies in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid zones.