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The countries that make up the MENA region display wide diversity. One of the poorest countries in the world sits alongside two of the wealthiest, whilst the region's natural resources range from immeasurable oil and gas reserves to some of the scantiest natural endowments anywhere in the world. Yet through this diversity runs a common thread: water scarcity. Now, through the impact of human development and climate change, the water resource itself is changing, bringing new risks and increasing the vulnerability of all those dependent on water. Chris Ward and Sandra Ruckstuhl assess the increased challenges now facing the countries of the region, placing particular emphasis on water scarcity and the resultant risks to livelihoods, food security and the environment. They evaluate the risks and reality of climate change in the region, and offer an assessment of the vulnerability of agriculture and livelihoods. In a final section, they explore the options for responding to the new challenges, including policy, institutional, economic and technical measures.
About the Author
Christopher Ward is Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. He was educated at Whitgift, and at St John's College, Oxford and St Antony's College Oxford. Formerly with the World Bank, working largely in the field of natural resource management and rural development in the Middle East and Africa, he is currently consultant to a number of international organizations, including the World Bank and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He has lived in Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Somalia, as well as Kenya, Madagascar and the USA. He is the author of The Water Crisis in Yemen: Managing Extreme Water Scarcity in the Middle East (I.B.Tauris, 2015).Sandra Ruckstuhl is a social development specialist who works with the World Bank, United Nations and US Government to improve conflict sensitivity of international development and humanitarian aid initiatives in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She has specialized field experience supporting water and natural resource management projects, and has conducted analysis and provided operational guidance for programmes in more than 20 countries. She holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She currently serves as Senior Social Specialist, Global Water Practice, WorldBank, supporting programs in fragile, conflict-affected and transboundary contexts, and as Program Manager for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network's USA Sustainable Cities Initiative.