Abuja - Nigeria — Sweden is to provide 6.7 million US dollars over four years to support West Africa's programme to reduce the region’s vulnerability to climate change.
The support comes under an agreement signed on Tuesday, 9th April 2013 by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouédraogo and the Swedish Permanent Representative to ECOWAS, Ambassador Svante Kilander The ECOWAS chief praised Sweden for the gesture, describing the timing of the grant as apt and would boost the region’s capacity to pursue its climate change adaptability programmes.
He called for additional Swedish support for the success of the programme to enable the region leverage the country's experience to revitalise cooperation in this sector. The Swedish ambassador used the occasion to highlight the consequences of climate change on the region mainly in the form of increased temperatures, more extreme weathers and coastal erosion.
He warned that "West Africa has to be prepared for a range of different climate scenarios," including adaptations in the areas of agriculture and building construction to improve their resistance to flooding and the consequences of coastal erosion. The envoy commended ECOWAS for being the first among Africa's five Regional Economic Communities to develop a strategic programme to address vulnerability to climate change.
He said the grant would help ECOWAS in the "difficult and necessary work of supporting its Member States in developing and implementing actions that are most relevant to their different contexts and opportunities. The envoy also mentioned other areas of collaboration with the Commission to support trade and trans-boundary water resources issues.