COMSTECH-IFS-INWRDAM Joint Research Grants Program

Currently this program is suspended

The Muslim world consists of nearly one-fifth of mankind and its area extends from Morocco to Indonesia and from Madagascar to Central Asia. Most of the Muslim countries are located in the arid middle belt of the globe. Shortage of water in this area touches all aspects of life and the environment. Increasing living standards and expanding national economies make more and more demands on the available water supply. The gap between water supply and demand is increasing very rapidly. Demand for more water is temporarily being met by over-exploitation of dwindling groundwater sources or is obtained from energy-intensive non-conventional sources of supply.

In 1995, COMSTECH-INWRDAM published water scarcity data for fifty-five member states of OIC. It is a matter of serious concern that most of the Islamic countries have water availability per capita of less than 1000 m3, and 10 of the countries have water availability per capita of less than 500 m3.

To address this emerging problem, COMSTECH INWRDAM and IFS had a meeting in Stockholm. It was agreed to enter into a partnership to make the best possible use of resources in conducting scientific research, and create a cadre of skilled people

who can significantly contribute to providing solutions for the most pressing problems relating to the worsening state of water scarcity in the OIC region.

Partnership agreements between IFS, COMSTECH and INWRDAM for strengthening capacity in OIC countries for Water Resources Research was first signed on 8.2.2004 and a Plan of Action for 2004-2013 was agreed on. According to that agreement INWRDAM and COMSTECH each were to contribute every year a sum of US$25,000 and IFS contributes matching sum of US$50,000. This project is aimed to identify and support promising young researchers in the area of water resources in the OIC countries who are eligible for IFS support.

Eight research areas are targeted for support.

A- Water for livelihoods: i) Safe drinking water, ii) Sustainable sanitation, iii) Pollution abatement, iv) Water treatment,

B- Water for agriculture: v) Rain-fed agriculture and rainfall harvesting, vi) Use of low-quality irrigation water, vii) Micro-irrigation technologies, and

C- Social and economic dimensions: viii) Social and economic dimensions of water resources management.

The 5th and 6th General Body meetings of INWRDAM approved the cooperation program between IFS and COMSTECH and INWRDAM. This program is running and supporting on the average 10 young scientists from OIC countries each year. INWRDAM paid US$25,000 as its contribution to this program for the year 2004.

INWRDAM, IFS and COMSTECH agreed on Phase II of this cooperation, with contribution in the following format

 

Year 2007

Year 2008

Year 2009

INWRDAM (in-kind equivalent)

25,000

25,000

25,000

COMSTECH

25,000

25,000

25,000

IFS

50,000

50,000

50,000

Sub total/ per year

100,000

100,000

100,000

The collaborative program is to be revised every three years. Based on achievement of objectives appropriate financial resources can be allocated by each cooperating organization. The following projects have been funded under the tripartite collaboration.

This program has so far provided 39 research grants in 16 member states of OIC at a cost of US$499,110. Besides the research projects COMSTECH-IFS-INWRDAM also organized 13 workshops and trained 404 from OIC member states.

Table 4. Countrywise Distribution of COMSTECH-INWRDAM-IFS Research Grants

S. No.

Country Grantees

No. of Grantees

  1.  

Bangladesh

04

  1.  

Burkina Faso

04

  1.  

Benin

01

  1.  

Cameroon

07

  1.  

Ivory Coast

04

  1.  

Egypt

03

  1.  

Indonesia

01

  1.  

Iraq

01

  1.  

Morocco

01

  1.  

Niger

01

  1.  

Nigeria

04

  1.  

Pakistan

02

  1.  

Senegal

01

  1.  

Tunisia

01

  1.  

Togo

01

  1.  

Uganda

03

Total

39

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