The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) could lose between 6% and 14% of their GDP by 2050 due to water shortages being experienced for some years now. This was revealed by a UN-FAO-World Bank joint paper published on 28, August 2018.
According to the authors of this paper titled “Water management in Fragile Systems: building resilience to shocks and protracted crises in the Middle East and North Africa”, this is because more than 60% of MENA residents live in regions affected by high hydric stress. Indeed, this is a percentage higher than the world average which is 35%.
In the long run, this could create many problems. “Economic losses mean rising unemployment and compounded by the impact of water scarcity on traditional livelihoods such as agriculture, could result in food insecurity and force people to migrate”, Pasquale Stedulo, a Co-author of the joint paper declared.
He added that such scarcity could lead to food insecurity and rising frustrations, due to the governments’ incapacity to guarantee basic services. These frustrations could also add to the generalized instability in the region.
To fight water scarcity, the experts suggest the implementation of a joint long-term, efficient and impartial water management policy rather than the adoption of temporary measures that will only delay the resolution of an increasingly pressing issue.