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AfDB urges increased financing to curb climate change, food insecurity

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called for increased financing to reduce the effects of climate change and food insecurity in Africa.

Akinwumi Adesina
African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Akinwumi Adesina

AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, made the call when he led a delegation from the bank to the just concluded 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

A statement issued by the bank’s Communication and External Relations Department on Monday, October 3, 2022, in Abuja, said Adesina played an active part in discussions leading to an international declaration to end malnutrition and stunting.

The statement described climate change as a recurring theme in many of the bank’s discussions, especially the need for urgent financing for the countries most at risk.

Speaking at the second ministerial meeting on climate and development, the AfDB president joined U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and other participants.

“They joined in urging developed countries to deliver on the pledges they made at COP26 in Glasgow under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Adesina echoed the call for urgent action and warned that Africa was suffering.”

The statement quoted Adesina as saying: “Africa is choking, and is in serious financial distress for what it did not cause.

“There must be a greater sense of urgency, not in talking, but in doing and delivering resources that the continent needs very desperately.”

The AfDB president also called for a restructuring of African economies to be productive with education, infrastructure, and energy.

Accordingn to him, it is to make sure we have productive sectors that can use people’s skills and absorb that into the economy.

Kerry said: “We are late. we must act. I’m fed up with saying the same thing too many times in the same meetings. Business as usual is the collective enemy. Its time for action.”

The general assembly, however, allowed the bank group to demonstrate particular leadership in efforts to end hunger, nutrition, and stunting across Africa.

The bank group also joined the Global Leadership Council in a new initiative to scale up clean, reliable energy and address global warming.

The council comprised global leaders, including the AfDB president, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, and UN Development Programme Administrator, Achim Steiner.

It also comprised the European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer; Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr, and the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr Rajiv Shah.

The council is expected to focus on efforts to break down barriers to just energy transitions in developing countries.

Under the Presidential Dialogue Group on Nutrition, the AfDB president joined African presidents to sign a landmark commitment to stop childhood stunting.

The group is an initiative of the AfDB’s African Leaders for Nutrition platform, the Ethiopian government, and Big Win, a philanthropic organisation. 

The platform also includes the leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda among its members.

Furthermore, the bank’s African Emergency Food Production Facility featured prominently at the Global Food Security Summit. 

Senegal’s President, Mr Macky Sall, Chair of the African Union, commended the bank for its swift inauguration of the $1.5 billion facility to avert a looming food crisis. 

Adesina also held bilateral meetings with Kenya’s President, William Ruto0, American billionaire and philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg, and former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, and former U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton.

He also met with Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s Minister for International Development, who is also the AfDB’s governor. Ahead of the Global Citizen Festival, they both discussed efforts to end hunger.

Norway is supporting the African Emergency Food Production Facility.

The statement said that UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, urged governments across the world to quickly invest in quality job creation and the provision of social protection for those without coverage.

Guterres told leaders to focus on concrete solutions to implement the initiative.

He also warned “the path of inaction leads to economic collapse and climate catastrophe, widening inequalities and escalating social unrest. 

“This could leave billions trapped in vicious circles of poverty and destitution.”

The session was also addressed by various leaders from around the world.

These included AfDB president, Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera, Uganda’s Vice President, Jessica Alupo, and Egypt’s Minister for Planning and Economic Development, Hala El-Said.

The statement said that UNGA 77 brought together world leaders, civil society activists, private sector players, and young people from around the world.

The theme of the general assembly was, “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”.

By Temitope Ponle

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