Climate Opportunities & Partnerships

Middle East & Africa


COP 28: UAE Pledges $150M Funding For Water Security Solutions

The UAE’s COP28 presidency had made it very clear that it would “drive water up the climate agenda”

Dec 09, 2023 / 2 Min
Photo credit: Picterra

The UAE has pledged $150 million in new funding for water security solutions in fragile and vulnerable communities. The announcement was made during the UN Climate Summit, COP 28, in Dubai.


The UAE’s COP28 presidency had made it very clear that it would “drive water up the climate agenda” by focusing on freshwater, cities and food at the summit in Dubai.


By 2050, water demand around the world is projected to increase by as much as a quarter, according to the World Resource Institute. The five countries facing the highest water stress are Bahrain, Cyprus, Kuwait, Lebanon and Oman.


The Middle East is already the most water-scarce region in the world – and the increasing temperatures are predicted to lead to more persistent and acute drought. More than 60 percent of the population in the region has very little, if any, access to potable water – water that is fit for human consumption – and 70 percent of their GDP is vulnerable to water stress.


Earlier this year, Iraq warned it was facing its most acute water shortage in a century with seven million people experiencing reduced access to the resource. About 90 percent of the country’s rivers are polluted and Iraq will meet only 15 percent of its water demands by 2035, according to the United Nations.


As 70 percent of Mena’s agricultural production is rain-fed, the region is extremely vulnerable to changes in temperature and rainfall resulting from climate change. With the Menap (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan) region currently importing between 80-90 percent of the food it consumes, addressing water scarcity is a critical issue for its agriculture sector.


The climate summit in Dubai has invited water experts to contribute to the first “global stocktake”, a key part of COP28, where countries will assess progress towards dealing with challenges of global warming.


Sources: Zawya, AGBI