Balancing water stress and human crises under a changing climate

Three major international agendas concern building resilience to climate change, achieving sustainable development in marginal dryland environments and responding to humanitarian crises. These agendas often compete with each other for support and attention. When crises become acute, sustainable development and the climate change agenda may suffer reversals that will leave populations ever more vulnerable. However, the agendas can also complement each other. This paper reflects on recent experiences in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, where an international humanitarian effort has created both challenges and opportunities for balancing water stress over both the short- and long-term horizons.

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