A small nation with over two million people, oil-rich Qatar is a big importer of food and water, and that’s been a problem during the latest row with their neighbors, as Saudi Arabia has closed the border and left thousands of food trucks stranded on their side.
Qatari officials maintain that they have at least four weeks supply of food on hand, but with nervous people flocking to the stores to stock up, fear of shortages is palpable. That’s got Qatar approaching both Turkey and Iran as possible new sources of food and water supplies for them.
The Iranian union of exporters of agricultural products has already endorsed the idea, saying they can get food shipments across the Persian Gulf in just 12 hours. Qatari officials have suggested they could send cargo planes to go pick up food wherever it’s available.
Turkey is one of the region’s biggest food exporters at any rate, but it might not be food and water they’re sending, with the Turkish parliament having approved a deployment of ground troops into Qatar. The troops will be at a Turkish military base in the country,, but the deployment is a clear sign of addition support for them amid speculation the Saudis and their allies might invade Qatar outright.
While a Saudi naval blockade has turned food problems in Yemen into a nascent famine, a similar problem is virtually impossible in Qatar, the world’s richest nation by per-capita GDP, with a fleet of commercial cargo planes that can readily source supplies from anywhere.