Tapping the Potential: Actions of Race to Resilience Partners in MENA Region

Race to Resilience at the Middle East and North Africa Regional Climate Week

Event Recording


Globally, approximately 1 in 4 people are projected to be exposed to a severe climate hazard, even in a ‘best case’ scenario reaching 1.5ºC warming by 2050.  The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is particularly vulnerable to climate change. It is one of the world’s most water-scarce and dry regions; with a high dependency on climate-sensitive agriculture and a large share of its population and economic activity in flood-prone urban, coastal zones. In addition, MENA has a higher urbanization rate than the global average of 55% – with 65% of the MENA population living in cities (more than 280 million people). By 2050, the number of inhabitants in MENA is projected to double, amplifying the exposure to unprecedented natural and social hazards, putting many lives at stake.

Identifying effective climate resilience strategies and funding opportunities to be implemented and scaled are critical to maintaining economies and livelihoods in the region; including in urban, rural and coastal communities. 

The UN-backed Race to Resilience is helping address this by catalysing actions and investments by non-state actors. This session will focus on what Race to Resilience partners are doing in the MENA region to build the resilience of communities and businesses, and to protect the lives and livelihoods of people most vulnerable to climate change. 


This session will build on the priority areas and gaps that were discussed over the two weeks at the Resilience Hub at COP26 by over 150 engaged institutions, networks and partners. Five key focal areas emerged from discussions at the Resilience Hub: 

  1. Locally Led Adaptation is essential for transformative and equitable adaptation and is ripe for scaling, subject to finance access. 
  2. There is an urgent need to increase the overall availability of quality finance for adaptation and resilience, as well as to diversify financial instruments through emphasising grant-based rather than loan-based models.
  3. Transformative adaptation and resilience require bridging the gaps between knowledge and implementation through knowledge brokering and advancing measurement and learning. 
  4. Nature based Solutions are key to transforming risk into resilience through integrated urban, coastal and rural climate actions. 
  5. Pragmatic and equitable adaptation and resilience action requires women, youth, disabled, displaced, and Indigenous peoples to be at the heart of design, decision-making, and implementation.

This session will take forward the discussion from the Resilience Hub and its outcomes, and kick off MENA Climate Week with ambition, direction, and progress. The main objectives of this side event will be: 

  1. Provide the latest resilience analytics on community vulnerability to extreme heat and other climate stresses and shocks in the MENA region;
  2. Set the ambition for the year and make meaningful connections from COP26 through to COP28;
  3. Identify, through best-practice case studies, the integrated approaches state and non-state actors can adopt which build the resilience of rural, urban and coastal communities; and
  4. Highlight the work of the Race to Resilience to address resilience and adaptation challenges by building collaborative coalitions of non-state actors and sharing knowledge to scale up best-practice. 

The incoming Egyptian COP27 President will play a crucial leadership role in scaling the ambition and urgent action required to achieve a 1.5ºC resilient world. But it requires action by all. We welcome you at this event for a fruitful discussion!

Concept note and agenda

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