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.
Global Center on Adaptation; Africa Adaptation Initiative
Global Center on Adaptation
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