Africa’s push for Compensation for Impacts of Climate Change bearing fruits: UN official

FILE – The carcass of a dead goat lies in the desert in a drought-stricken area near Bandar Beyla in Somalia on March 8, 2017 (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File) AP – Ben Curtis

Africa’s push for compensation from the developed world for having suffered from the impacts of climate change is bearing fruits, a UN official has disclosed.

United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Director General of the African Risk Capacity (ARC) Group Ibrahima Cheikh Diong said the COP27 (the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties), which was held in Egypt late last year, acted on what is called a “loss and damage” fund to be given to Africa as compensation to protect its people from impacts of climate change.

The funding will be financed by the developed world, “those who actually pollute the environment most,” Diong told the press on the sidelines of the 36th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly.

Noting that Africa contributes less than four percent of the global greenhouse gases emission, the director general said the continent through the ARC has been raising concerns about the impact of climate change on Africa while demanding compensation for its people.

According to Diong, the ARC is advocating for Africa to receive the funding as quickly as possible while maintaining the need for having competent African institutions that will be able to access the funding very quickly and disperse it effectively.

Diong said the AU has come up with a new regional disaster reduction strategy that guides members to plan better in dealing with disasters, prepare well to manage and transfer risks to the insurance market, and protect lives and livelihoods.

“African heads of states are recognizing the problem of climate change and want to fix this from a political perspective, and eventually come up with some solution to address climate change,” Diong said.

Since its inception 10 years ago, the ARC has provided up to 1 billion U.S. dollars worth of coverage across all member states and to all disasters combined on top of a payout of 125 million U.S. dollars, the director general added.

Highlighting the recent flooding in South Africa, Nigeria and Niger as well as the critical drought in the Horn of Africa, Diong said the recurrence of disasters in Africa is on the rise, causing a huge impact on human conditions, particularly women and children.

The two-day summit, slated from Feb. 18 to 19 at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa, was held under the theme of the year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation.”


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