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World Bank to Help Africa Fight Climate Change
 

The World Bank on November 24 unveiled a new plan that calls for $16 billion to help African countries adapt to climate change and build up the continent's resilience to climate shocks.

Titled Accelerating Climate-Resilient and Low-Carbon Development, the Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented to the global climate talks in Paris on November 30.

It lays out measures to boost the resilience of the continent's assets including its people, land, water, and cities, as well as other moves including boosting renewable energy and strengthening early warning systems.

"Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks, and our research shows that could have far ranging impact on everything from child stunting and malaria to food price increases and droughts," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

"This plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change," he noted.

According to the plan, the region requires $5 to $10 billion per year to adapt to global warming of two degrees centigrade.

The World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme estimate that the cost of managing climate resilience will continue to rise to $20 to $50 billion by mid-century, and closer to $100 billion in the event of a four degrees centigrade warming.

Of the $16.1 billion that the ambitious plan proposes for fast-tracking climate adaptation, some $5.7 billion are expected from the International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank Group that supports the poorest countries.

The rest of the money will come from various climate finance instruments, development community, private sector and domestic sources.

"The Africa Climate Business Plan spells out a clear path to invest in the continent's urgent climate needs and to fast-track the required climate finance to ensure millions of people are protected from sliding into extreme poverty," said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group Vice President for Africa.

"While adapting to climate change and mobilizing the necessary resources remain an enormous challenge, the plan represents a critical opportunity to support a priority set of climate-resilient initiatives in Africa," he added.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2015)

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