Iraqi President: Food Security is At Stake

Kurdistan 11:37 AM - 2024-05-12
 Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid. Iraqi Presidency

Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid.

Iraq Kurdistan Erbil Iraqi President

At the International Conference on Water Crisis and Climate Change in Erbil, Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid emphasised that 60 percent of Iraq's water resources are squandered and the threat that climate change poses to food security. Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani stressed the importance of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region developing a comprehensive strategy to address the risk of climate change, which is more pressing in these regions than in others nearby.

On Sunday, May 12, 2024, Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid and Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani attended the International Drought and Climate Change Conference in Erbil. The conference, organised in collaboration with the Bahr al-Ulum Dialogue Forum and the French Centre for Research, will discuss climate change and water scarcity, as well as how to address these challenges. The conference was attended by the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, several Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ministers, as well as a number of consuls and diplomats.

60% of Iraq's water is wasted

During the meeting, Iraqi President Abdullatif Jamal Rashid delivered a speech in which he stated, "The conference is being held in Iraq during a period of significant environmental change. These changes have had a significant impact on the economy, agriculture, and water supply. Water, the most important natural resource for life and development, is especially impacted. Environmental change is a major global issue that all countries must address. The concurrent increase in population and environmental degradation has resulted in significant environmental changes.

"Approximately 60 percent of Iraq's water resources are being squandered, and neighbouring countries have curtailed the amount of water being released to both Kurdistan and Iraq as a whole. Consequently, this has led to environmental changes and water scarcity, posing a significant threat to food security," he added.

Furthermore, he stated that "the environment has been significantly impacted by the misuse, waste, and inadequate management of water, as well as the use of outdated irrigation and agricultural practises. Consequently, we are currently experiencing issues such as drought and desertification. These problems pose a multitude of challenges and risks that future generations will have to confront. Iraq is implementing measures to mitigate the detrimental impacts of environmental change by constructing multiple dams and reservoirs, especially in the Kurdistan Region."

We need to make strategic plans

Additionally, the President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, gave a speech during the conference, expressing the following: "Due to previous circumstances, Iraq has been unable to effectively tackle the issue of climate change. Therefore, it is essential for us in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to formulate a current, short-term, and long-term strategic plan for confronting the threat of climate change."

"This issue should be prioritised, and the federal government should allocate the required budget and establish specialised institutions and agencies with more power and capacity than the existing ones," he stated.



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