Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and UNDP discuss solutions for the Energy-Food-Water Nexus at COP28

December 3, 2023

Dubai - The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) successfully held a joint session at COP28, titled "Energy-Food-Water Nexus: Sustainable Solutions in the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus", on Sunday, December 3, 2023. The joint session, which took place at the Kuwait Pavilion, explored the linkages and challenges related to the energy-food-water nexus, with a focus on Arab states.

The discussion focused on the water, energy and food sectors, which are interconnected in a nexus where actions relevant to one sector can often greatly affect other sectors. The energy-food-water nexus places water scarcity, food security and renewable energy at the forefront of the path to sustainable development.

The session was attended by a high-level panel of experts, including Dr. Abdallah Al Dardari, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Arab States, who delivered the keynote address. Dr. Al Dardari emphasized the urgency of integrating water, energy and food sectors to address the critical challenges facing the Arab region such as water scarcity, high energy consumption and food shortages, all of which are crucial to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"In a region increasingly affected by climate change and geopolitical conflict, integrating these vital sectors is critical to building resilience and sustainability," Dr. Al Dardari stated. "Our discussion highlighted the importance of creating synergies and improving governance in these interconnected sectors."

The session provided tangible examples of how the integration of renewable energy, effective water management and sustainable food practices plays a critical role in addressing challenges within the Nexus. Furthermore, the discussion emphasized their collective importance in building a more resilient and sustainable future in regions facing humanitarian, development and peace challenges.

Other notable speakers included H.E. Eng. Tawfeek Al Sharjabi, Minister of Water and Environment – Yemen; Sarine Karajerjian, Programme Director of the Environmental Politics Programme at the Arab Reform Initiative; Khaled Sharbatly, CEO of Desert Technologies Group; and Dr. Maha Al-Zu'bi, Regional Researcher at the International Water Management Institute.

“We are extremely honored to have partnered with the UNDP in hosting this important panel discussion that highlighted the huge overlapping development and humanitarian challenges in the Arab States, with their far-reaching socioeconomic consequences.”, said Mr. Waleed Sh. Al-Bahar, Acting Director General. “Development work is becoming increasingly more complex and more challenging globally, but exceptionally more so in the Middle East North Africa Region, due to the numerous humanitarian and protracted conflicts that cripple the region. A special focus was given in our discussion to innovative and integrated approaches within the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus and their potential contributions to sustainable development and stability in crisis-affected contexts. The event also provided an opportunity to showcase a few exemplary projects that were jointly implemented with the UNDP in Yemen and Lebanon.”

The panel also presented the "The Impact of Climate Change on Human Development in Yemen" report, which highlights the specific challenges faced by Yemen and similar regions and emphasizes sustainable practices in ensuring stability and development.

For media inquiries: 

UNDP: Fatma Elzahraa Yassin, Regional Communications Advisor for Arab States, fatma.yassin@undp.org