MIT alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel gives major gift to solve urgent challenges in world food and water security | MIT News

Professor John Lienhard will lead the new laboratory.

MIT News Office, May 6, 2014, Press Inquiries

MIT has received a major gift from alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel ’78 aimed at ensuring the world’s food and water supply for the 21st century.

The gift establishes the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS), named in honor of Mr Jameel’s late father, to spearhead research that will help humankind adapt to a rapidly changing planet and combat world-wide water and food-supply scarcity. In addition, the lab will elevate the Institute’s commitment to address the collective pressure of population growth, urbanization, and climate variability — factors that endanger food and water systems in developing and developed countries alike.

“Ensuring sustainable and affordable access to food and water for all is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. Jameel’s generosity will spur action at MIT and around the world to make real progress on acute food and water insecurity as well as energize MIT’s efforts to tackle the broadest questions about how we ensure sustainability,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “This extraordinary commitment is an investment in the health and future of the planet that will benefit people worldwide, and we are extremely grateful.”

Currently, an estimated 1 billion people lack reliable access to water, and 2 billion suffer chronic hunger or malnutrition. World population is projected to grow from about 7 billion today to 9 billion by 2050. “The acute problems already before us will only intensify with rising population,” Jameel said. “It is the mission of this lab to develop solutions on a grand scale. Toward that end, I have challenged the lab to set the goal of reaching half a billion people by 2025.”

(read more).

See also:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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