Water, employment and migration crises are posing rising risks globally. In parts of the Mediterranean, the situation on all three crises is alarming. Their link may not be obvious at a first glance, but it is becoming increasingly evident based on the hard evidence of realities on the ground. Exploring their causal relationships will provide a better understanding on how to tackle some of the greatest global challenges and help to effectively work towards the fulfillment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
In line with SDG #6 on Clean Water and Sanitation and linking with a range of other SDGs, the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med)is developing a new program on “Water Security, Migration and Youth Employment” with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The goal of this nexus is to turn water insecurity into security; unemployment and under-employment into employability and job creation; and displacements into emigration prevention in countries of origin and integration of migrants in transit and destination countries.
The situation in the MENA region
Water scarcity in the MENA is acute, hindering development and triggering migration. It threatens human security, and can jeopardize the socio-economic stability across the Mediterranean. Looking back at the lifestyle of nomads who moved across the MENA and beyond to find areas with sufficient water for their tribe, the relation between water and migration is not a new trend for the region.