A picture taken on May 1, 2023, shows the drop in the water levels at the Tigris River in Baghdad. (PHOTO / AFP)
BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani on Saturday stressed that Iraq is suffering from water scarcity due to climate change and urgent international intervention is necessary to save the twin rivers in his country.
Under the auspices of the al-Sudani, the Baghdad 3rd International Water Conference was launched in Baghdad on Saturday, which was participated by Iraqi officials, diplomats and representatives from Arab countries and neighboring countries such as Iran and Türkiye, as well as international organizations specialized in the field of water and climate.
According to the UN Environment Program, Iraq ranks as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, which will negatively impact social security and health in the war-torn country
This conference focuses on water resources and climate changes, aiming at preserving biodiversity, rationalizing the usage of water, and activating international coordination and cooperation, according to Iraqi Minister of Water Resources Aoun Diab.
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"Climate change is the primary factor contributing to the current water crisis in Iraq," al-Sudani told the conference, adding that the water scarcity in his country was compounded by unresolved water issues with upstream countries and an outdated water management system.
Al-Sudani pointed out that "urgent international intervention is necessary to save the Tigris and Euphrates rivers" to help Iraq in ensuring its water security and the future of its generations.
According to the UN Environment Program, Iraq ranks as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to climate change, which will negatively impact social security and health in the war-torn country.
READ MORE: As climate threats grow, Iraq battles water shortages
Iraq heavily relies on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which originate in Türkiye, to fulfill its water needs. But the water levels in the twin rivers have declined significantly over the years as a result of drought climate, the construction of dams, and the diversion of water upstream.