AfDB calls for increased funding to mitigate climate change effects
African Development Bank (AfDB) has called on world leaders and other stakeholders to increase financing to mitigate the effects of climate change and food insecurity.
The bank made the call at the just concluded 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings in New York.
The President, AfDB Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, led the bank’s delegation to the meetings and played an active role in discussions leading to an international declaration to end malnutrition and stunting.
He said the bank’s engagements reflected its strategic priorities as African countries struggle with lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as food and fuel price spikes.
Adesina echoed this call for urgent action, saying: “Africa is suffering, 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.”
He stressed the need to restructure economies to become productive with education, infrastructure and energy, and ensure there are productive sectors that can use people’s skills and absorb them into the economy.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly, Adesina also led a bank delegation to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for meetings.
The two organisations agreed to work together on quality health care infrastructure, vaccines, essential medicines, nutrition and the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, said a statement by the bank.
Adesina also held bilateral meetings with Kenya’s new President, William Ruto; American billionaire and philanthropist, Michael Bloomberg; former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, and his wife, Hillary.
Adesina also met with Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Norway’s minister for international development and AfDB’s governor. Ahead of the Global Citizen Festival, they discussed efforts to end hunger.
The regional bank joined the Global Leadership Council, comprising the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa; United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Achim Steiner; European Investment Bank President, Werner Hoyer; Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr and the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, who is co-chair of the council.
The General Assembly allowed the AfDB to demonstrate particular leadership in efforts to end hunger, nutrition and stunting across Africa by signing a landmark commitment to stop childhood stunting.
Speaking at the session, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, urged governments across the world to timely invest in quality job creation and provision of social protection for those without coverage.
He told leaders to focus on concrete solutions on initiatives and 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.”
Various leaders from around the world, including Adesina, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, Uganda’s Vice President Jessica Alupo and Egypt’s Minister for Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said, also addressed the session.