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Yemen's Water Crisis: A Looming Catastrophe Threatens Food Security and Peace

Lack of Funding Threatens Yemen's Water Security, Putting Millions at Risk


Yemen's Water Crisis

  • Yemen faces a severe water crisis with limited resources and unsustainable practices.

  • Lack of funding hinders the implementation of effective water management solutions.

  • Water scarcity threatens food security, health, and stability in Yemen.


The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has issued a stark warning about Yemen's water crisis, highlighting a dangerous gap between policy and action. The report reveals a critical lack of funding to implement proven water management practices, jeopardizing food security, public health, and even peace in the war-torn nation.

"Our experience in Yemen has shown glaring gaps between policy and the ultimate use of water," warns the FAO. Limited funding, they say, hinders the replication of successful pilot programs, leaving communities vulnerable. This lack of access to a vital resource can even turn deadly. The report claims 70-80% of conflicts in Yemen stem from disputes over water.

Yemen's water situation is indeed "unenviable," according to the FAO. The country holds the dubious distinction of being the poorest in terms of water resources. With a per capita share of only 83 cubic meters annually, Yemen falls far below the water security threshold of 500 cubic meters.

Compounding the problem is the agricultural sector's reliance on water, with a staggering 90% going towards a single crop – qat. This unsustainable practice depletes groundwater reserves at an alarming rate, exceeding replenishment by a factor of two. If this trend continues, Yemen's water basins will be dry by 2030, a catastrophe for a nation where 70% of the rural population depends on agriculture.

Climate change and population growth add further strain on Yemen's limited resources. A staggering 14.5 million Yemenis lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The burden of this crisis falls heavily on women, who not only see their crops and livestock threatened but also face increased time and effort spent collecting, storing, and distributing water.

The FAO's report emphasizes the urgent need to bridge the gap between policy and action. Increased funding for proven water management practices is crucial, along with a shift away from unsustainable agricultural practices. Only through a concerted effort can Yemen avert a looming water crisis and secure a more peaceful and food-secure future for its people.


@FAO @FAOYemen @FAOArabic @FAOinNENA


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