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Integrated responses to building climate and pandemic resilience in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the world has faced since the Second World War. While it began as a health crisis, it has far reaching economic ramifications. For Africa the pandemic’s impacts will be particularly severe – by exacting a heavy human toll, upending livelihoods and damaging business and government balance sheets, the crisis threatens to slow down the region’s growth prospects for years to come. At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis is colliding with the continent’s existing climate crisis. Changes in precipitation levels, increase in temperature extremes and rising sea levels are already having a wide range of direct and indirect impacts on Africa and it’s the poorest and most vulnerable who are suffering the most. The pandemic has already hit communities reeling from the worst locust outbreak in 70 years, record high water levels in Lake Victoria and floods in the Democratic Republic of Congo - a combination of disasters all linked to climate change. There must be an integrated response to both crises so recovery programmes can propel Africa towards increased resilience. This policy brief has been prepared by the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI). We recommend focusing stimulus investment on resilient infrastructure and food security to overcome the COVID-climate crisis. We propose a set of policy recommendations that bring multiple benefits, a “triple dividend”, to African countries. The first dividend is reduced pandemic risk. The second is climate resilience and the third is strengthened economic recovery.
Author: Global Center on Adaptation; Africa Adaptation Initiative
Language: English
Pubished By: Global Center on Adaptation
Pubished date: May 2020

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