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Portugal increasingly threatened by water shortage

Portugal is increasingly threatened by water shortages and energy dependency on politically unstable countries, warns this year's edition of the Ecological Threats Report

Published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the study states that while sub-Saharan Africa is the region most exposed to water scarcity, European countries such as Albania, Estonia, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal are at risk of "experiencing substantial increases in water pressure by 2040".

"Food insecurity and water pressure are interlinked, as without adequate water catchment it is impossible to provide enough food," he stressed.

According to the report, over 1.4 billion people in 83 countries suffer from extreme water pressure, including 51 sub-Saharan African countries such as Angola and Mozambique, but also Haiti, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen and Venezuela.

On the other hand, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has led Western countries to step up fossil fuel supplies from countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Libya or Nigeria, "but this carries risks," warn the report's authors.

"Political turbulence in low-peace energy-exporting countries poses a short- and medium-term threat to developed nations that depend on these imports," they explain.

Japan, South Korea, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Germany are some of the most vulnerable countries, it says.

The Ecological Threats Report, produced by the Australian-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), analyzed which countries are most at risk of conflict, civil unrest and displacement of people caused by environmental degradation and climate-related events.

The researchers examined 228 countries and territories to assess their capacity to manage these challenges by 2050 and concluded that 27 states, 23 of which are in Africa and the Middle East, are at a "tipping point".

Globally, the study reveals that at least 41 countries currently face "severe food insecurity", which is expected to deteriorate due to "increasing ecological degradation, inflation and war between Russia and Ukraine".

Overall, the report calculated that the number of undernourished people has increased by 35% by 2021 worldwide to more than 750 million and is expected to continue to rise due to the impact of global warming.

IEP founder Steve Killelea urged governments and international agencies to "invest in building long-term resilience to prevent future ecological destruction, forced migration and conflict".


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