Two million people to be protected from water-related climate shocks and flooding in Eastern and Southern Africa Featured

Nearly two million people will be protected from exposure to water-related climate shocks, including flooding, thanks to protective and resilient infrastructure, improved disaster risk management, and social protection systems supported by the Regional Climate Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa 2 (RCRP-2).

RCRP-2 is the second phase in a 10-year series of projects in Eastern and Southern Africa aimed at strengthening the resilience to water-related climate impacts. It provides a $240 million grant to Malawi and a $10 million grant to the African Union (AU) from the International Development Association* (IDA) in order to scale up RCRP-1 which is currently being implemented in Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, South Sudan, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), and the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO).

Countries in Eastern and Southern Africa continue to grapple with climate-related shocks, and climate-exacerbated disasters are increasing in frequency and recurrence, leading to reactive responses that do not address the root cause of vulnerability. Chronic underfunding for climate adaptation investments further exacerbates the situation.

“Malawi has experienced 19 major floods and eight catastrophic droughts in the last five decades that have rolled back development progress and pushed more Malawians into poverty. The establishment of stronger structures supported by the recently approved Disaster Risk Management Act (2023) presents an opportunity to support the country’s shift from a disaster response approach to preparedness, risk reduction, and sustainable post disaster recovery, which RCRP-2 aims to focus on," says Hugh Riddell, World Bank Country Manager for Malawi.

In Malawi, the project will prioritize the management of the transboundary Shire River Basin, which is significant for the region, particularly for Malawi and Mozambique. It will also enhance coordination between Comoros, Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique in improving early warning systems and sharing information, as these countries are often affected by the same tropical cyclones. The participation of the AU will support the coordination among all five countries and three regional organizations involved in RCRP-1 and RCRP-2, and advance knowledge sharing and promote a harmonized approach to addressing climate change in a gender equitable and inclusive manner.

“Climate change related natural disasters do not respect national boundaries, and single events can have cascading impacts across the region. Regional projects play a crucial role in fostering greater partnership to tackle these common challenges and facilitate knowledge exchange among member countries, which is critical in accelerating action against climate change,” says Iain Shuker, Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Partnerships are an important aspect of the World Bank’s Evolution Roadmap and the institution’s mission to end extreme poverty on a livable planet. RCRP-2 will join forces with the AU to maximize impact and harmonize support. RCRP-2 fully aligns with the African Union’s Climate Change and Resilience Development Strategy and Action Plan (2022-2032), which aims to provide a roadmap for member states to achieve their climate change commitments and promote sustainable economic growth.

“Partnering with the African Union is key to mobilizing more funds for climate finance on the continent, fostering cooperation on climate strategies, and improving collaboration on water resources,” said Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Director for Regional Integration for Africa and the Middle East. “As climate impacts expand across borders, increased regional knowledge, information sharing, and enhanced early warning systems are crucial to build the region’s resilience to climate change.”

The project's five components integrate regional and national dimensions and include promoting policy harmonization, knowledge generation, capacity development, and coordination across RCRP countries. The 10-year SOPs plans to address the challenges of climate change shocks by creating an enabling environment for capacity building, infrastructure reconstruction, and landscape management with benefits that go beyond borders.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: #IDAworks

Source: reliefweb