Desertification
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“Africa contributes no more than 2-3% of greenhouse gas emissions, but suffers disproportionately from the negative impacts of climate change,” stated the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi A. Adesina.

Adesina was speaking at a session on Climate and Disaster Risk Financing, which focused on the Role of the African Risk Capacity (ARC) and the Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme (ADRiFi) on Wednesday in Busan, Korea.

He noted that: “All across Africa, you see today the high frequency of droughts. Africa has been shortchanged by the climate financing architecture. Therefore, we need instruments that will help mitigate climate risks.”

Pledging the Bank’s support for ARC operations, he encouraged others to follow suit. “It must not be only about the African Development Bank,” he said.

“We want more stakeholders to join and more partnerships to make sure that the financing mechanism is there.” Read more: Small Island states demonstrate will to tackle climate change

“The future of Africa depends on the actions we take today. And we have to have a sense of urgency. If we pump in the alliance and partnerships needed, countries will be able to insure themselves of risks.”

Continent’s vulnerability to droughts

Reiterating the challenges of climate change in Africa, especially the continent’s vulnerability to droughts, floods, tropical cyclones and outbreak and epidemics, ARC Chairperson Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stated that ARC is about African countries taking charge of their own issues and finding ways to finance their response efforts and broader resilience and development.

“We cannot remain a continent that is reliant on the generosity of the broader development community,” said Okonjo-Iweala.

She highlighted the critical role the ADRiFi will play in promoting disaster risk financing on the continent and how countries can access both capacity building and premium financing as part of their long-term resilience building efforts.

The Bank and ARC formalised their partnership in March 2017 to strengthen their technical collaboration towards enhancing the risk management infrastructure and policy across Africa while supporting countries in building resilience against climate shocks.

Following requests from regional member countries for premium financing support, the Bank proposed the ADRiFi programme, which will run from 2018-2022, as a comprehensive, sustainable solution for risk transfer within the broader context of disaster risk management.