MENA Rising Up to the Drought Challenge


There’s a misguided belief amongst some that climate change is “coming.” But, ask farmers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region who are witnessing more frequent droughts, and they will assure you that the change is well and truly here already.

With only two percent of the world’s renewable water supplies, MENA is the driest region in the world and home to 12 of the world’s most water-scarce countries. Soaring temperatures and evaporation rates, in addition to decreases in precipitation across the region, are creating extreme challenges to water and food security. MENAdrought, a USAID-supported project, is turning the tide of climate change by creating more resilient communities that can stay one step ahead of the next drought.

USAID’s recently launched 2022-2030 Climate Strategy aims to advance equitable and ambitious actions to confront the climate crisis. “The MENAdrought project falls perfectly in line with the new Climate Strategy,” says Sonia Massis, a water and environment specialist at the USAID’s Middle East Bureau. “The project confronts the climate crisis by assessing the vulnerability of communities to drought and then devising technology packages to detect and respond to it.”

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