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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED) to increase regional capacity and awareness in the Middle East and Northern African region. Both organizations share a vision to promote awareness, build capacity, share best practices and develop joint approaches to address critical water issues of the region.
A major concern in this arid region is the supply of renewable water. Demand continues to rise, pushed by population growth, agricultural use, and increasing industrialization and urbanization. Climate change increases stress on an already scarce resource. Daily per capita water consumption is low throughout the region, and the cost of supplying water continues to increase.
To address these critical challenges USAID and the Arab Network for Environment and Development are joining forces to advocate, educate and partner in water resource management and access to clean drinking water and sanitation. Implementing this partnership is USAID's Advancing Blue Revolution Initiative, a regional program which seeks to transform the culture and governance of water in the Middle East and Africa. This requires building awareness of the water crisis and promoting activities of multi-stakeholder networks.
By increasing dialogue, mobilizing new financial and nonfinancial resources, and building the capacity of strategic organizations, progressive initiatives can be sustained. Key USAID partners such as the International Water Association and the Arab Countries Water Utility Association have already begun collaborating with Arab Network for Environment and Development on climate change.
The Network provides the Advancing Blue Revolution Initiative with access to over 200 civil society organizations, offering valuable perspectives on the regional dialogue. Arab Network for Environment and Development is active in implementing the United Nations agenda, especially in the area of the Millennium Development Goals, specifically to help the poor achieve sustainable livelihoods. RAED member organizations have collaborated in implementing projects including solid waste recycling, renewable energy, water conservation and protection of endangered species on both regional and national levels.
May 28 to 29, USAID and Arab Network for Environment and Development launched the first jointly programmed climate change workshop for the Northern African Region. The United States is committed to working with partners in the Arab Network for Environment and Development to meet the region's need for an essential natural resource -- water.