"Water scarcity and quality deterioration as well as land degradation are prevalent in rural households and communities in the Middle East and North Africa. We are calling for coordinated action to address them before it is too late.", Dr. Mahmoud Solh, the Director General of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) stated amid preparations for the WLI 6th Annual Regional Coordination Meeting which was held in Amman for three days starting November 11, 2014.
Openning remarks from left to right: USDA-ARS Rep. Mr. Ibrahim Shaqir, US - Regional Universities Rep Dr. Sandra Russo, NCARE Rep. Dr. Moeen Qaryouti, USAID Acting Deputy Mission Director U.S. Ambassador Lewis Lucke (retired), USAID Senior Science Advisor Dr. Scott Christiansen and ICARDA Deputy Director General Dr. Maartin Van Ginkel. Photo by: Moh. Maghaydhah.
ICARDA-IWLMP Director Dr. Theib Oweis facilitating the opening session. Photo by: Moh Maghaydhah.
ICARDA-WLI Manager Mr. Kristofer Dodge presenting an overview of the WLI progress for the year 2014. Photo by: Moh Maghaydhah
The meeting served as an excellent platform for Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI)'s partners to report on progress made towards achieving goals to improve rural economic development in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.
Participants at the policy level, national research institutions, universities, NGO's and community leaders are working together to identify strategic ways to improve livelihoods through saving water by increasing productivity in agriculture.
Over 50 representatives from partnering National Agricultural Research and Extension Services (NARES); the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); national, regional and U.S. universities; United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS); and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) attended the Annual Meeting. Photo by: Moh Maghaydhah.
The National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension (NCARE) in collaboration with The Water and Livelihoods Initiative (WLI) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by ICARDA and national programs hosted the annual meeting. These collaborative efforts towards developing and disseminating technology packages for irrigated, rangeland and rainfed agro-ecosystems in the Middle East and North Africa regions that address increasing water scarcity are major source of water saving potential. Armed with new technologies the WLI works to build the capacity of communities, with special focus on women and youth, which builds resilience in our rural areas when they face inevitable dry spells.
Group Photo: Photo by: Moh. Maghaydhah.