Japan invests US$92m to help Africa weather climate change

from UN Development Programme
Published on 11 Dec 2008
Through the UN, Japan will support 21 African countries

Poznan, 11 December 2008 - Twenty-one African countries are set to benefit from a US$92.1-million programme backed by the Japanese Government, which is designed to support their efforts to adapt to climate change.

The details of where the money would be invested were finalized this week between Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), coinciding with the International Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland.

Through the new programme, UNDP will work with the African countries to help them develop their capacity to plan, implement and monitor flexible, long-term development policies designed to weather the uncertainties of climate change, with the primary focus of ensuring that the most vulnerable people do not fall victim to rising temperatures and climate-induced shocks. The programme will also help participating governments to better tap the additional finance they will need to meet the cost of adapting to climate change.

"This adaptation programme addresses the urgent need to look at development differently," said Olav Kjorven, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy, stressing the importance of an integrated approach to tackling what he called the 'triple crisis' of climate change, finance and poverty.

"If the financial and food crises this year have taught us anything it has to be: 'heed the warning signs'. We know that Africa is likely to warm by 3-4 degrees Celsius this Century; we know that the resulting water scarcity, crop failures and health risks will hit the poorest the hardest. Together, we have an opportunity here to change how development is done to respond to that reality and we warmly welcome this partnership with Japan and the participating countries as an investment in our collective future," he said.

The 21 recipient countries were determined based on a number of criteria, including their vulnerability to climate change risks, their interests and needs and the priorities of the Japanese Government.

Among 21 recipient countries, the countries which are in the process of preparation for the actual implementation, in coordination with the recipient governments, are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Niger, Republic of Congo and Senegal, the countries which established Japan's $10 billion 'Cool Earth Partnership'. The establishment of the "Cool Earth Partnership" with other six countries is also under consultation.

The programme, which falls under 'Cool Earth Partnership', is part of the 'Japan-UNDP Joint Framework for Building Partnership to Address Climate Change in Africa', which was established at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in May 2008.

It represents the joint effort of the United Nations family on climate change. UNDP will manage the $92.1 million programme, part of which -- $11 million -- will be channeled to adaptation activities supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). Participating countries will start setting out their adaptation activities from January 2009.

Media enquiries: For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Stanislav Saling, Poznan, Poland, Cell: +1 917 609 5133, stanislav.saling@undp.org

UNDP is the UN's global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working as a trusted partner with Governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Further information can be found at www.undp.org