$ 50 bn Arab tourism industry faces ‘heat’

Updated 06 December 2012
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$ 50 bn Arab tourism industry faces ‘heat’

The Middle East and North Africa will be especially hard hit by climate change in the coming decades, the World Bank said in a report yesterday, saying the region will see less rainfall, more recording-breaking temperatures and rising sea levels.
Should temperatures rise as expected, the hotter conditions are likely to hit the region’s $ 50 billion tourism industry and further worsen its food security since many countries in the region — especially Gulf states — depend heavily on imports to feed their populations. Crop failures will also increase while yields will decrease and household incomes will fall, the report said.
The report was presented at the UN climate negotiations in Doha, Qatar, where nearly 200 delegates for the first time are in the Middle East to discuss cutting emissions.
Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi urged participants to catch the unique opportunity to implement the framework agreement on climate change and its protocols and set the foundation for a better future to confront the problem after 2020.
Among the most critical problems in the Middle East and North Africa will be worsening water shortages.
The region already has the lowest amount of freshwater in the world. With climate change, droughts in the region are expected to turn more extreme, water runoff is expected to decline 10 percent by 2050 while demand for water is expected to increase 60 percent by 2045.


Turkey says it is facing ‘new refugee wave’ after 30,000 Afghans arrive

Updated 2 min 32 sec ago
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Turkey says it is facing ‘new refugee wave’ after 30,000 Afghans arrive

ANKARA: Nearly 30,000 Afghans have arrived in Turkey in the last three months, the Turkish government said Wednesday, after Amnesty International criticized the authorities “ruthless” decision to send more than 7,000 back to Afghanistan.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 29,899 Afghans had crossed into Turkey since January compared to 45,259 people in the whole of 2017, state news agency Anadolu reported.
“In recent months, we are facing a new refugee wave, especially from Afghanistan,” Soylu said, adding that 1,328 people smugglers had been caught by April.
Turkish authorities have sent back 7,100 migrants to Afghanistan since early April, rights group Amnesty said on Tuesday, as it denounced the “ruthless deportation drive.”
“Thousands more are in detention, being treated more like criminals than people fleeing conflict and persecution,” Anna Shea, Amnesty researcher on refugee and migrants rights, said in a statement.
Migrants from Afghanistan and other countries affected by conflict and poverty often use Turkey as a transit country in the hope of reaching Europe.
According to Amnesty, there are 145,000 Afghans in Turkey.
The country is also home to more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, as well as more than 300,000 Iraqi refugees, who have fled conflicts in their respective countries.
75,284 migrants have so far reached Turkey in 2018 compared with 172,745 last year, Soylu said in a speech in the southern city of Adana.
In March 2016, Turkey signed an agreement with the European Union to stop the flow of refugees to Europe after the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.
Over one million migrants and refugees landed on Europe’s shores in 2015, fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.