The Middle East and North Africa is one of the most food insecure regions in the world. FAO estimated that in this part of the world 69 million people were undernourished in 2020, with an increase of some five million compared to the previous year. A growing population and low agricultural productivity are but two of the many structural challenges that regional governments are currently facing. Largely dependent on food imports, the MENA region has suffered from the disruptions in food supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unfolding increase in consumer prices. On the top of that, climate change, with its devastating consequences on the environment and the agricultural sector, poses an existential threat to the food security strategies of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Against this backdrop, what measures should be taken to make the MENA region more food secure and climate resilient in the future? What steps could be taken to enhance productivity and technological developments in the regional agricultural sector? And in what ways can the international community support local agricultural production in the face of water scarcity and climate change?
Nadim Farajalla, Director, Climate Change and Environment Program, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut
Dina Saleh, Regional Director of the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development
Eckart Woertz, Director, GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies
Ugo Tramballi, Senior Advisor, ISPI