Baghdad, 5 November 2022 (TDI): The President of Iraq, Abdul Latif Rashid participated in the activities of the “Iraq’s Thirst” project at the Bahr Al-Uloom Forum for Dialogue on Friday.

During his address, he stressed the need to give foremost importance to the water scarcity issue in the country, to spread awareness in public about it, and to find appropriate solutions to the said problem.

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He also thanked the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for its contribution which comes from the UN’s awareness of the importance of water security in the lives of people.

The President further extended his thanks to the government of Iraq for its interest in solving the issue, especially the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Environment, Mahdi Rashid.

“Attending the project’s activities is a priority for me, despite my preoccupations, to give the topic importance and to encourage those interested in water affairs to do everything they can to solve this chronic problem, especially in Iraq,” he added.

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He also gave documents to the Minister of Water Resources containing his perception of developing water resources management in Iraq and improving the water situation.

Lastly, he said that he wishes the government of Iraq will succeed in solving the issue of water scarcity while ensuring that the Ministry of Water Resources has a set of proposals and projects to improve the water situation in Iraq.

Water scarcity in Iraq

Iraq is in the middle of a water scarcity crisis stemming from low levels of rainfall, poor water resource management, and reductions in water flow into the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from upstream countries.

Iraq water crisis
Barren earth due to Water scarcity in Iraq

The 2020-2021 rainfall season is declared the second driest season in the last 40 years by UNICEF which caused a reduction of water flow in the Tigris and Euphrates by 29% and 73% respectively.

UN experts warn that the continuing water loss from both main rivers could turn the country into “a land without rivers by 2040.”