The Arab States region is susceptible to a wide range of climatic and man-made threats. It is home to fragile ecosystems, extreme weather and natural disasters such as catastrophic droughts and floods—dangers that are only being exacerbated by the effects of climate change. Many countries are also grappling with protracted armed conflict, an issue that is by no means separate from the environmental challenges effecting the region, as a scarcity of natural resources created by climate change is leading to increasingly violent clashes over what resources remain. Together, these challenges are combining to threaten the very real progress that has been made by Arab States.
To protect this progress, we support efforts to improve food and water security, increase communities’ abilities to respond to climatic disasters, and ensure that crisis and conflict recovery are carried out in a way that makes communities resilient against future shocks. To help Arab States become as resilient as possible, we work with governments, civil societies and the private sector, as well as regional partners, sister UN agencies and global funds, such as the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund.
Building climate resilience through renewable energy Solar technologies and policies are helping bring a reliable, renewable source of energy to the region. In
Yemen, over 250,000 people will benefit from solar technologies the partnership has provided to 800 households and 60 health centres, local government offices and schools. In Lebanon, we supported the introduction of hybrid solar-diesel systems to organisations in the non-profit, commercial and industrial sectors; as a result, the equivalent of 1,414 tonnes of CO2 will be prevented from entering the atmosphere. In Lebanon, environmentally-minded policymaking is helping lead the country into a greener future—we supported the creation of an important guidelines report on hybrid solar-diesel systems, as well as a strategy for the Lebanese Army to use ground-source heating pumps and a sustainable energy strategy.
The success of the 22nd Conference of Parties in Morocco was made possible in part by the EU-UNDP partnership’s support of the “Civil Society and Innovation Zone”, which included 9 conference rooms used by some 24,000 people over the course of the conference.
Resilience-building in protracted conflict
We continue to contribute to the massive effort to rebuild infrastructure, 31 EMPOWERING PEOPLE AND BUILDING PEACEFUL SOCIETIES |COOPERATION BETWEEN THE EU AND THE UNDP IN THE ARAB STATES REGION livelihoods and lives in war-torn Syria. With our assistance, 295,798 tonnes of solid waste and 21 tonnes of debris were removed from former conflict zones; 9 schools were rehabilitated; and 10,641 monthly jobs were created.
Syrian persons with disabilities (PWDs) are especially vulnerable in the crisis, and we have supported nearly 600 of them over recent years: we helped build the capacities of technicians and managers in two prosthetic workshops in Damascus and Tartous, and trained 158 PWDs in vocational skills to help them find new sources of income.