World Bank Releases Report on Climate Change in the MENA Region
5 December 2012: The World Bank has released a report, titled "Adaptation to a Changing Climate in the Arab Countries: a Case for Adaptation Governance and Leadership in Building Climate Resilience," which assesses the impact of climate change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and stresses the need for adaptation programmes based on strong leadership and prioritization of climate policies at the national level.
Recent studies have shown that dry regions are increasingly suffering from more severe droughts and flash floods. According to the report, over the past 30 years, 50 million people in the Arab world have suffered from climate disaster, costing US$12 billion directly. One example is the 2006 flooding of the Nile River Basin, which caused 600 deaths and affected over 118,000 people. The report therefore calls for immediate action in order to avoid the projected consequences of water shortages and increasing food insecurity.
The report underscores that as the world's lowest endowment of freshwater, climate change is a considerable threat for the livelihoods of Arab people, and could trigger disproportionate migration to the already highly populated and vulnerable coastal zones. Prepared in partnership with the League of Arab States, the publication reinforces previous studies that argue that global warming could set back decades of poverty reduction efforts, including the recent World Bank report titled "Turn Down The Heat: Why a 4° C Warmer World Must be Avoided." The report concludes that climate data is fundamental for effective adaptation policies. [World Bank Press Release] [Publication: Adaptation to a Changing Climate in the Arab Countries: a Case for Adaptation Governance and Leadership in Building Climate Resilience]