Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Apr 6, 2010

International Water Day

The U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon celebrated the annual International Water Day (March 22, 2010). The objective behind such an event, which started in 1993, is to create a global awareness about the conditions, scarcity and availability of fresh water for human use worldwide.

The U.N. report reveals that water is available only to 87% of the world population. 13% of the global population (884 million people) is deprived of fresh water for their human needs. One third of that group is living in Africa. Furthermore, the U.N. study reflects that more than 40 countries worldwide are experiencing shortages of fresh water. Water shortages will intensify as a result of urban expansion and world population growth, which is projected to reach around 9 billion people by the year 2050. Both factors will increase water consumption and pollution simultaneously.

Water contamination is already creating major problems in many parts of the world. The U.N. report revealed the following statistics:
1) 2.5 billion people have no sanitary sewage systems and 70% of the water used by industries is mixed with above ground water resources.
2) Nearly one million tons of polluted water find their way into the underground water resources.
3) Industry and agriculture produce two billion tons of waste on a daily basis worldwide.
4) The polluted water is a major source of sickness and diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhea. This affects around 4 billion people and causes the deaths of 1.8 million children per year, or at that rate, one death every 20 seconds.

The death figures are more than all the casualties of war and violent crimes combined around the world. This is an insult to humanity. It is much cheaper for states to prevent and stop water pollution from happening in the first place, than to pay a high price to purify and clean polluted water. Many countries, such as China, India, South Africa, Mexico and in particular, the Middle East and North Africa (which will be focused on in the following post), suffer from water scarcity.

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