Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aty, has met with Abdel Hakim El-Waer, the Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation.
During the virtual meeting, Abdel Aty said that Egypt is highly concerned about water security in the light of the climate change, noting that the fifth edition of Cairo Water Week will be held under the title, “Water at the heart of climate action”.
It is expected that the upcoming summit will witness wide African participation, as they will discuss financing infrastructure projects in the water sector.
On the sidelines of the event, African representatives will hold a joint meeting with Arab ministers of water and agriculture.
Moreover, a special day for water security will be organized on the sidelines of the UN climate conference (COP27) in cooperation with FAO and other partners. The event will witness launching international initiatives to adapt to climate changes in the water sector.
During the meeting, Abdel Aty reviewed Egypt’s experience in the field of adaptation to climate change, as it affects fresh water resources and causes sea level rise.
The minister also stressed the important nexus between water and food, as water represents a key element in agriculture and achieving food security, pointing to the important role represented by the development of the water system and its reflection on the improvement of the agricultural system and bridging the food gap.
For his part, Al-Waer stressed FAO’s keenness to provide all forms of support to COP27 and the fifth Cairo Water Week, as a preparatory event for the climate conference. The conference’s results will be addressed in the UN Conference on the Mid-Term Comprehensive Review of Water in March 2023.
He emphasized the need to work on placing the water, agriculture, and food sectors within the climate change file in Africa and the Middle East, noting that global crises and international supply chain problems have clarified the need for integration between the water and agriculture sectors to ensure food security.