"Acquiring a full understanding of the water shortage in Iraq is the first step towards effectively addressing its deep social and economic impacts", stated the Director of UNESCO Iraq Office, Louise Haxthausen. "Having the Capacity Building Component - being one of the core-elements of ASHRI-2, completed, this intervention will offer main technical references for all stakeholders of Iraq's water sector. Adhering to internationally recognized and applied best practices, the project will substantially contribute to informed decision-making, and thus sustainable use of national groundwater resources. At the same time, the outcome of ASHRI-2 can be key to open doors for trans-boundary management of shared water resources to address water governance, adaptive capacity towards climate change induced water scarcity ", added Mrs. Haxthausen.
EU Ambassador to Iraq Patrick Simonnet, said: "this project illustrates very well the importance of effectively managing water resources in Iraq. We are sadly reminded on a daily basis what challenges Iraq has to face, and this initiative is both timely and topical as more impetus on this transnational issue is needed in light of the in-country developments. Water is key in this region, and we should not lose track of its future, ensuring a sound and sustainable management of water and land resources. We are confident that UNESCO, in cooperation with the Iraqi authorities, will bridge the gaps at this critical time and provide all the necessary tools to face the challenges of water shortages – not only for Iraq, but beyond.”
Through a EU contribution of five million Euros, "ASHRI-2" has validated and updated essential data and information on Iraq’s groundwater resources, improving the government's management capabilities in this field. Building upon UNESCO's long experience and studies in the field of drought and water resources' management in Iraq, ASHRI-2 crucially addresses water shortage and scarcity, and its dangerous outcome on socio-economic and cultural development, health, environment and eco-systems.
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