Sunday, April 21, 2013

$6.7m to support ECOWAS climate adaptability programme

ECOWAS members
ECOWAS members states are struggling to meet needed funds to tackle climate change (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sweden is to provide 6.7 million US dollars over four years to support West Africa’s programme to reduce the region’s vulnerability to climate change, an ECOWAS statement said on April 15, 2013.

It followed an agreement signed on April 9 by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouédraogo and the Swedish Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Ambassador SvanteKilander.

The North Bank Evening Standard understands that the sub-regional economic bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is struggling to secure the much needed funds to effectively tackle the adverse consequences caused by changes in weather conditions. 

ECOWAS chief Ouédraogo praised Sweden for the gesture, saying “the timing of the grant as apt and would boost the region’s capacity to pursue its climate change adaptability programmes”.

flag of the Economic Community of West African...
Flag of the Economic Community of West African States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But, he called for additional Swedish support for the success of the programme to enable the region “leverage the country’s experience” to revitalise cooperation in this sector.

Swedish ambassador SvanteKilander highlighted the consequences of climate change on the region “mainly in the form of increased temperatures, more extreme weathers and coastal erosion”.

He warned that “West Africa has to be prepared for a range of different climate scenarios”, including adaptations in the areas of agriculture and building construction to improve their resistance to flooding and the consequences of coastal erosion.

ECOWAS is the first among Africa’s five Regional Economic blocs to develop a strategic programme to address vulnerability to climate change, The North Bank Evening Standard, is told.

“The grant would help ECOWAS in the difficult and necessary work of supporting its Member States in developing and implementing actions that are most relevant to their different contexts and opportunities,” SvanteKilander said.

He also mentioned other areas of collaboration with the Commission to support trade and trans-boundary water resources issues. 

Written by Modou S. Joof

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