inter-Regional Technical Platform on Water Scarcity (iRTP-WS)

Acceleration Frameworks for SDG6 Achievements in the Arab Region

Halfway Progress, Challenges and Future Commitments!

Virtual Event, 20/03/2023

Water for social, environmental and economic development


Water Scarcity poses profound and significant risks to livelihoods, ecosystems, and the economy as numerous water-intensive systems (e.g. Industrial, agricultural, health, and Energy) are growing to meet the needs of expanding populations. Similar to most of the world, the Arab countries are still considered “off Track” to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6 -Water and Sanitation for All- by 2030. 

Despite national and global efforts, a considerable population across the region still suffers today from the lack of safe water and sanitation services even though both services have long been declared as basic human rights. Additionally, inefficient water use and unsustainable withdrawals are still observed across various sectors particularly the agriculture sector, the biggest consumer of Water resources in the Arab Region. Furthermore, political instability, institutional fragmentation,  inadequate governance coupled with climate change impacts, poverty, and conflict are proven to exacerbate current development challenges in the region while hindering potential investments in the Water sector.   

Greater possible gains in Water and Sanitation are still possible if adequate Acceleration Frameworks are set in place. Mobilizing action across governments, the private sector, and Civil society at regional, national, and sub-national levels can be obtained through alignment of efforts; enhancement of water efficiency, productivity, and sustainability;  sharing of data and information, optimization of financial resources and enhancement of technical capacity and governance. 

This Virtual session aims to discuss current regional and national efforts in Advancing Water Action in the Arab Region toward accelerating the achievements of SDG6 with a special focus on Goal 6.4 on Sustainable Increase of Water-use Efficiency, by offering new integrated approaches in governance, water savings, and coordination across sectors and geographical borders. It also aims to explore potential acceleration frameworks that employ an “All of Society Approach” to overcome current water efficiency and productivity gaps to assist decision-makers in pooling development aids and sustaining management of water resources to substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.



TimeAgenda ItemSpeaker
9:00 – 9:10 amWelcome- Opening Remarks
Mr. Serge Nakouzi, Deputy Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa FAO-RNE
9:10 – 9:20 amKeynote: The Role of intergovernmental Organizations in Strengthening Governance and Revitalizing Regional Partnerships
Ambassador Shahira Wahbi, Arab Water Ministerial Council, League of Arab States
9:20 – 9:30 amPresentation on: The Water Scarcity Initiative: Advancing Cross-Sectoral Collaboration and working in Coalition
Dr. Mohamed Al Hamdi, Senior Water and Land Officer, FAO-RNE
9:30 – 9:50 am
Panel: 1: SDG6 Progress, Current Challenges, and Accelerating Frameworks
Moderated by: Heba Al-Hariry, Water Scarcity Adviser FAO-RNE
1.      Dr. Ibtisam Abuhaija, Director of Climate Change and Drought Management, Ministry of Agriculture of Palestine
2.      Dr. Walid Hakiki Head of the Planning Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt
9:50 – 10:10 am
Panel: 2: SDG 6 Accelerating Frameworks: Innovation, Inclusion, and Partnership
Moderated by: Heba Al-Hariry, Water Scarcity Adviser FAO-RNE
1.      Dr. Khalil Ammar, Program Leader Sustainable Natural Resources Management, (ICBA)
2.      Dr. Emad Adly, General Coordinator at the Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED)
10:10–10:30 am
10:30- 10:40 am Voluntary commitments for the Water Action Agenda
Partnering organizations
10:40- 10:45 amWrap-up and Closing Remarks


FAO and League of Arab States