Video On Demand

Food Security in the Middle East: A Conversation with HE Minister Mariam Almheiri of the UAE

May 10, 2023 • 3:00 – 4:00 pm EDT

As many as 828 million people are affected by hunger globally, and the number continues to grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts of climate change on the Middle East—from a rate of warming twice the global average, to unsustainable practices that deplete groundwater, to persistent droughts—limit the region’s ability to produce food. At the same time, the Ukraine war and global economic shocks have affected access to food imports in many countries. 

The United Arab Emirates is playing an increasingly active role seeking to transform global food systems and address the climate impacts of agriculture, which accounts for almost 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Because the UAE experiences harsh heat, a saline environment, a lack of arable land, and water scarcity, it has adopted a National Food Security Strategy that aims to adapt agricultural technology to work with the climate, rather than against it. The country is also forming new international partnerships—such as the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) with the United States—and it is placing food systems on the agenda at COP28, alongside high-emitting sectors such as energy and transportation.

Please join the CSIS Global Food Security Program and the Middle East Program for a conversation on rising challenges to domestic and global food security, and the UAE’s efforts to address them, with HE Mariam Almheiri, the UAE’s minister of climate change and environment. 

Jon B. Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program
Caitlin Welsh
Director, Global Food and Water Security Program