Countries in the MENA Region have experienced the consequences of changes in temperature, extreme weather conditions including drought and excessive rainfall. These climatic changes, superimposed on severe water crisis, political turmoil and intersection violent conflicts create destabilizing forces throughout the region.
The world’s top nine wheat importers are MENA countries. Around 50 percent of the supply of the region’s wheat and barley, 40 percent of rice and nearly 70 percent of maize is met through imports. Such high levels of import dependency result in vulnerability to global food price fluctuations, which, to some extent, are also driven by climate change impacts in food-exporting regions.
In addition, by 2050 the population in the MENA region is projected to double. This will cause almost unimaginable stress on the demand for food. The resulting food insecurity will likely exacerbate population migration, increase the vulnerability of women and girls to sexual violence and marginalization, and heighten the threat of increased conflict.
The recent publication entitled Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warning, details the top 100 solutions that have the greatest potential to reduce emissions or sequester carbon from the atmosphere. Girls’ education ranks 6th on this comprehensive list of solutions to save the planet, sitting well head of many infrastructure and energy related solutions, which are the most widely known climate change solutions. In addition, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #4 is to insure inclusive and equitable quality education and Sustainable Development Goal #5 is to achieve gender equality.