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Agua para Oriente Medio

FEZ – El Programa Mundial de Evaluación de los Recursos Hídricos de las Naciones Unidas confirma lo que muchos ya sabían: cientos de miles de personas en la región de Medio Oriente y África del Norte (MENA, por su sigla en inglés) —especialmente en Argelia, Jordania, Libia, Marruecos, Palestina, Sudán, Siria y Yemen— han enfrentado en 2016 las peores sequías desde hace décadas. Esto es lo último que la región necesita mientras se esfuerza en pos del crecimiento y la diversificación económicos.

Diversos factores han contribuido a la situación actual, entre ellos, el cambio climático, la desertificación, la contaminación del agua y el uso inapropiado de los recursos naturales. La información, la educación y la comunicación inadecuadas exacerban muchos de estos desafíos, ya que refuerzan la falta de conciencia sobre —ni qué decir de la falta de compromiso con— las prácticas favorables al medio ambiente. Sumemos a eso una inadecuada reducción y gestión de los riesgos de desastres por parte de los gobiernos —muchos de los cuales deben ocuparse de otros conflictos y crisis— y la situación se torna verdaderamente desesperada.

Argelia, por ejemplo, ha estado experimentando su peor sequía en cinco décadas. Como gran parte de la agricultura del país depende fuertemente de las lluvias, debido a la falta de infraestructura el rendimiento de las cosechas cayó un 40 % este año. A pesar de su vasta riqueza en petróleo y gas, Argelia no ha logrado contar con suficientes recursos hídricos asequibles para su población, ni qué decir de oportunidades de empleo adecuadas. En consecuencia, el país se está viendo sacudido por protestas populares.

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