President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina has called for action to support African countries ravaged by climate change to cope with drought and reduce vulnerability.Speaking on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the 5-day AfDB Annual Meetings on energy and climate change in Lusaka, Zambia, Dr Adesina said Africa, which contributes less than 3% of the global greenhouse emissions, is suffering from the effects of El Nino which has caused severe drought in fourteen countries with thirteen located in East and Southern Africa.
“Kenya and Rwanda had devastating floods, over 8.4 million people face food insecurity in Malawi and 15 million in Ethiopia as well as vast areas of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Botswana. AfDB immediately announced $549 million support of these countries,” he said.
AfDB will lead the way and triple its climate finance to $5 billion per year by 2020.
Dr Adesina demanded for “climate justice” for Africa, calling on the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility to “pay for the insurance premium of African countries to the Africa Risk Capacity Agency”.
“This will allow them to cope with extreme climate events … like Senegal which received $17 million pay out to mitigate the impacts of drought. AfDB will lead the way and triple its climate finance to $5 billion per year by 2020,” Dr Akinwumi Adesina said.
He pledged the bank’s support to deliver greater developmental impacts for Africa.
The 2016 African Development Bank Annual Meetings brought together about 5,000 participants including heads of state and governments to discuss the social and economic development of Africa.
Among the high profiled delegation present are Zambian president Edgar Lungu who opened the Annual Meeting, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Chadian president Idris Deby.
The Meetings end May 27, 2016.