Initiative:

Fragility to Resilience in Central and West Asia and North Africa

Challenge

The region of Central Asia, West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) is vast and contains diverse human cultures and agroecological systems. It is unified by its aridity and a predicted increase in the severity and frequency of high temperatures, drought, floods, climate variability and climate change-related compound events. 

Despite the region’s lack of productive agricultural land and severe water scarcity, the predominantly rain-fed agrifood systems are frequently the largest employers and significantly contribute to national GDP and local food security in a region heavily dependent upon food imports. CWANA’s agrifood systems are, however, incredibly vulnerable to overuse of the limited natural resources, the biophysical effects of climate change and their interplay with societal pressures such as gender inequalities, youth unemployment, rural-to-urban migration, a predominance of non-specialised smallholdings and institutional and economic pressures. 

Many countries in the region are considered fragile and conflict-affected. The consequences of experiencing multiple compounding events without resilient systems in place to cope with them can be devastating for society and the environment. 

Objective

This Initiative aims to respond to the climate, nutrition and agrifood challenges most affecting the CWANA region by applying, scaling and supporting effective, resilience-focused solutions, reducing fragility and conflict, and empowering all stakeholders for change, while minimizing and/or mitigating any trade-offs.

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