FAO urges Arab World to make better use of water resources
Head of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Jacques Diouf urged Arab nations to distribute the region's water resources more effectively.
"The problem is not a shortage of water but better use of available resources in the region," Diouf told reporters Monday ahead of the FAO regional conference for the Near East in Doha, Qatar.
"Solutions to the problems exist, including technical solutions," he added. Diouf also urged neighboring countries to negotiate water sharing agreements.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the driest in the world. It is home to about five percent of the world's population and has access to only one per cent of the globe's accessible freshwater.
According to the World Bank, about 45 million people in the MENA region lack access to safe drinking water, and almost double that number – or 80 million people in the region – lack access to safe sanitation. While the region suffers from water scarcity, its level of efficiency in using water is so poor that it cannot account, on an average, for half the water in urban areas. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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