Water Management is Key to Sustainable Development and Stability in the Middle East and North Africa
The importance of water management for sustainable development and stability in the Middle East and North Africa is at the heart of the League of Arab States’ conference on the Sustainable Development Goals which opened in Cairo yesterday.
The World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, Hafez Ghanem, and the FAO Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa, Abedssalam Ould Ahmed, joined the launch of the Arab Sustainable Development Week to raise awareness of the issue and to discuss the dynamics between water insecurity and fragility, conflict, and violence.
In March of this year, the League of Arab States and the World Bank Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding focused on leveraging the comparative advantages of each organization to take a regional approach to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
A ceremony was held today in Cairo with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, to celebrate this MOU. Water security in particular will require a regional approach, as the region’s scarce water resources cross borders and their effective long-term management will depend on increased cooperation among countries.
“The FAO, the League of Arab States and the World Bank all share the goal of promoting sustainable, effective and equitable water management in fragile situations – a goal which we believe can contribute to peace, prosperity and stability,” Ghanem said.