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Dodma eyes World Bank climate change funds

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By Wanangwa Chafulumira:

OPTIMISTIC — Khamula

Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has said it is closely monitoring and strategising on how the department can access part of $50 billion the World Bank Group has pumped in the fight against climate change worldwide.

The World Bank Group on January 15 this year launched its Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.

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Under the plan, according to a statement released on January 15, the bank will ramp up direct adaptation climate finance to reach $50 billion over financial years (FY) 2021–25.

Dodma Public Relations Officer Chipiliro Khamula in an interview said Dodma is aware the World Bank Group announced its Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience “in a quest to assist the most vulnerable and affected nations build a more resilient future”.

“As a department, we are strategising on how we can access the funds to implement our activities on supporting river basins with climate-informed management plans and delivery of higher quality weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate information, which are some of the core activities the bank is eyeing to finance under the action plan,” Khamula said.

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He said Dodma is hopeful of a positive result from their efforts to benefit from the funds.

“We should also mention that our partnership with the World Bank in disaster risk management is strong and has been there for a very long time.

“Currently, the bank is financing the implementation of the Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Plan and the Malawi Drought Recovery and Resilience Programme, among other interventions the bank is supporting,” he said.

The bank said this financing level—an average of $10 billion a year—is more than double what was achieved during FY2015-18.

According to the statement, the bank will also pilot new approaches to increasing private finance for adaptation and resilience.

“Our new plan will put climate resilience on an equal footing with our investment in a low carbon future for the first time. We do this because, simply put, the climate is changing, so we must mitigate and adapt at the same time.

“We will ramp up our funding to help people build a more resilient future, especially the poorest and most vulnerable who are most affected,” said World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva.

The bank said the increase in adaptation financing will support activities that include:

* delivering higher quality forecasts, early warning systems and climate information services to better prepare 250 million people in at least 30 countries for climate risks;

* supporting 100 river basins with climate-informed management plans and/or improved river basin management governance;

* building more climate-responsive social protection systems; and

* supporting efforts in at least 20 countries to respond early to, and recover faster from, climate and disaster shocks through additional financial protection instruments.

In addition to boosting finance, the bank said the plan will also support countries to mainstream approaches to systematically manage climate risks at every phase of policy planning, investment design and implementation.

This Action Plan is a welcome step from the World Bank,” said Ban Ki-moon, former secretary general of the United Nations and co-chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation.

“The world’s poorest and most climate vulnerable countries stand to benefit from its increased finance and support for longer-term policy change.”

The bank said the Action Plan “builds on the link between adaptation and development by promoting effective and early actions that also provide positive development outcomes such as early and proactive adaptation and resilience-building actions which are more cost-effective than addressing impacts after they occur”.

The Action Plan, according to the bank, also includes the development of a new rating system to create incentives for, and improve the tracking of, global progress on adaptation and resilience.

The new system will be piloted by the World Bank Group in FY2019-20 and rolled out to projects in relevant sectors by 2021.

The Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience forms part of the World Bank Group’s 2025 Targets to Step Up Climate Action which were launched in December 2018 during the UN’s COP24 in Poland.

The Action Plan will be implemented starting June 30 2021 through July 1 2025.

Since early 2000s, Malawi has faced multiple natural hazards such as floods, heavy storms, droughts, dry spells and so forth as a result of climate change.

On January 9 2019, a report from Dodma revealed that at least 17 people have died and 23 have been injured as a result of floods and strong winds which have affected some parts of the country since the start of the rainy season in November 2018.

Additionally, 114,000 people from 20,763 households have been affected following the collapse of, or partial damage to, their houses due to flooding and heavy winds.

Khamula said 12 out of the 17 deaths were due to lightning while others were due to reasons that range from drowning to collapse of houses.

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