ROAS Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation
Arab countries are amongst those with the scarcest water resources per capita in the world. Groundwater reserves, aquifers and fossil water supplies are being depleted at alarming rates. Water scarcity is a challenge that has led to conflict in the past and will be exacerbated by climate change. Climate change-induced temperature increases and precipitation declines will further aggravate water scarcity and increase the frequency of severe droughts, with an adverse impact on agricultural production. Desertification and the associated threats of future water and food insecurity for ever-larger urban populations are among the key defining problems of the region. Paradoxically at the same time, heavy rain and sea level rise could bring devastating floods to many of the region’s densely populated cities. Risks associated with climate change and natural hazards in cities need to be better understood, and measures to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change and reduce disaster risks will be essential, and will necessitate cooperation between states on certain issues. Improved enforcement of building codes and disaster resilient construction methods and strengthened institutional capacity to do so is also very much needed.