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Water, Energy, and Food Security in the Arab Region: Regional Cooperation and Capacity Building

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Part of the Water Security in a New World book series (WSEC)

Abstract

In the Arab Region, water and energy are recognized as indispensable inputs to modern economies and are driven by the three imperatives of security of supply, sustainability, and economic efficiency. In most Arab Countries, despite the links and the urgency for security of supply in both sectors, in existing policy frameworks, energy and water policies are developed largely in isolation from one another—a degree of policy fragmentation that is seeing erroneous development in both sectors. For the Arab Region, the absence of a comprehensive understanding of the links between energy, water, and food security is quite evident. Integrated policy and management strategies and solutions need to be better identified, as well as understanding where barriers exist to achieve that integration. Understanding and managing the energy-water-food security nexus means different things to different people. Nevertheless, as a challenge deeply embedded in our quest for sustainable development, a better understanding of the links between energy, water, and food security is essential in any attempt to formulate policies (Hoff 2011). This requires urgent attention to building relationships and linkages between policy making institutions of the three sectors. As far as water, energy, and food nexus security in the region is concerned, the critical new institutional challenge should be directed at developing policies, rules, and organization and management skills to enhance the ability to evaluate and address the crucial questions related to policy choices and modes of implementation among development options. This will result in having informed decisions that integrate the energy, water, and food production sectors based on the understanding of environmental potentials and limits, and on needs of the people in the country concerned. Capacity building is, and will continue to be an integral part and a fundamental supporting tool for water, energy, and food security nexus. To successfully meet the nexus challenge, effective capacity building is needed to find sustainable solutions to the increasing problems related to water scarcity, energy shortages, and the food production gap. The road map towards effective capacity building requires the active participation of a wide range of stakeholders and individuals with vastly different perceptions of the issues at stake. It is equally important for capacity building to enlarge its scope and go beyond education and training to encompass the wider issues of institutions and both formal and informal organizations. Those issues, in addition to others required to establish effective and successful capacity building development strategies, are the focus of this chapter.

Keywords

  • Water
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Security
  • Capacity building

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Fig. 6.1

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Hamdy, A. (2017). Water, Energy, and Food Security in the Arab Region: Regional Cooperation and Capacity Building. In: Amer, K., Adeel, Z., Böer, B., Saleh, W. (eds) The Water, Energy, and Food Security Nexus in the Arab Region. Water Security in a New World. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48408-2_6

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