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World Bank Sets $16 Billion Plan To Help Africa Cope With Climate Change

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The World Bank recently announced a $16 billion plan to assist Africa in climate change adaptation, as its communities are deemed to be disproportionately affected by global warming.

The African Climate Business Plan – to be presented at COP21 or the Paris climate change conference starting Nov. 30 – seeks to address threats such as more frequent droughts, increasing malaria risks, and food price hikes.

World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim said African countries are suffering more from climate change than any other.

"Any African leader will tell you that they’ve had very little role putting the carbon in the air. But they’ve suffered most from the impact of climate change," he said, adding that a fair global climate agreement at United Nations talks would consider this fact.

The World Bank warned that 43 million more Africans could be pushed toward poverty by 2030 due to climate change, and that the continent needs $5 billion to $10 billion in annual investments to adjust to a 2-degree Celsius temperature rise, the intended global warming cap at the 12-day, 195-nation UN climate forum in Paris.

Even a two-degree Celsius rise, warned the bank, will likely lead to a loss of 40 to 80 percent of appropriate growing areas in sub-Saharan areas for crops such as maize, millet, and sorghum.

The plan outlines ways to protect humans and cities, land, and water from extreme weather events and other adverse effects of climate change. It will also explore the use of early warning systems and more renewable energy sources.

Nearly 40 percent of the projected budget will likely emerge from the International Development Association of the World Bank, a unit working with the poorest nations in the world.

Other development partners and “climate-finance instruments” are expected to contribute $2 billion and $2.2 billion to the fund. The private sector, on the other hand, is projected to shell out $3.5 billion.

The Washington-based development bank said it aims to fortify its climate financing to an annual $5 billion by 2020. The Africa plan, according to the bank’s vice-president for Africa Makhtar Diop, will “fast-track” the needed climate finance to protect millions “from sliding into extreme poverty.”

Photo: Anita Ritenour | Flickr

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