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Tuesday , October 22 2019

Kuwait calls for ‘resolving’ regional water, food crises

Joint meeting of Arab water and agriculture ministers

CAIRO, April 4, (Agencies): Kuwaiti Minister of Oil, Electricity and Water Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel affirmed on Thursday necessity of working out “a real Arab cooperation framework” to resolve the regional “water and food crises.” Ahmad Al-Bakr, the Kuwaiti permanent delegate at the Arab League, was speaking on Al-Fadhel’s behalf at a joint meeting of Arab water and agriculture ministers, hosted by the Arab League headquarters.

Al-Fadhel is also the head of the Arab Ministerial Water Council. Al-Fadhel affirmed necessity of harmonizing Arab states’ policies at these levels and executing joint ventures within framework of the common ministerial committee that comprises Arab ministers of water and agriculture.

Moreover, he noted necessity of improvising solutions, luring investors and financiers to manage irrigation water, in line with the Arab development plan 2030. Water resources throughout the Arab world are depleting in shadow of continuing population, economic and construction growth. Weather hazards, rain scarcity, mounting draught and desertification “have overshadowed the economic and social conditions in the Arab region, directly affecting every Arab citizen and creating emerging challenges,” minister Al-Fadhel stated.

This situation warrants greater efforts to conserve the water resources and ensure their sustainability for the next generations, the Kuwaiti official said. Economic development, including the agricultural sector and food security is unattainable without sufficient water resources and higher efficiency of water usage in agriculture.

The Arab world, at present, sustains “a food gap,” the widest globally, in shadow of mounting nutrition needs, water scarcity and deterioration of agricultural fields, he concluded. Meanwhile, as part of its efforts to accelerate the work process and ensure greater transparency and credibility of vital government projects, the government has set up a supreme committee to monitor current public projects and review contracts for all five-year projects, reports Annahar daily.

The daily quoting a government source said, the committee includes representatives from several departments of the ministries of services has begun collecting vital information and data on each project for evaluation.

The source stressed that the most important task of the committee is to tighten control on the implementation of future projects to prevent the recurrence of errors and abuses that have plagued previous projects.

The committee will discuss and identify the imbalances while discussing and checking the observations made by the supervisory bodies, specifically the Audit Bureau, to avoid discrepancies in future and prevent waste of public money. The formation of the committee coincided with several steps taken by the government to raise the level of control of projects and coordination between different parties in order to address the failure in the implementation of projects.

Among the government steps is the separation of powers and competencies of three regulatory bodies and a new work schedule in the classification of companies according to their activities and determining the assigned parties to monitor the work of a group of companies while working to improve the arrangement of Kuwait in ease of business index and reduce the documentary cycle for obtaining licenses.

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