Africa: Climate Crisis - Red Cross Report Calls for Immediate Action to Protect Communities in Africa

press release

Guided by the findings of its World Disasters Report, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is embarking on an ambitious strategic direction aimed at eradicating hunger by 2030 in Africa, while mitigating climate change. One of the flagship climate adaptation actions is the plantation of five billion trees by the end of the decade.

The World Disasters Report 2020, "Come Heat or High Water: Tackling the Humanitarian Impacts of the Climate Crisis Together" presents analyses and recommendations designed to help local and national governments, as well as donors and civil society organisations, take urgent action to protect at-risk communities from the current and future impacts of climate change.

The Commissioner for Agriculture Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (ARBE), for the African Union Commission, H.E. Amb. Josefa Sacko, said:

"The World Disaster Report 2020 has come at a time when the entire humanity is facing complex risks. This report provides important lessons for building synergies and narrowing of divide between Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction."

In her opening remarks during the launch of the World Disasters Report, Amb. Sacko said "In record time a vaccine has been found to protect us from coronavirus infection. This has strengthened my trust in our common humanity that we are capable to find solutions that safeguard both humans and the natural environment, including from the impacts of climate change."

Mohammed Mukhier, the IFRC's Regional Director for Africa on his remark said:

"Many communities in Africa are being affected by concurrent and consecutive crises, leaving them with little time to recover before the next shock arrives. There is so much to be done here to help people to adapt to the realities of the climate crisis, reduce their risks, and build their resilience.

"Everyone has a role to play. To tackle food insecurity, we will support 10 million families to initiate food production initiatives by 2030."

The impacts of global warming are already killing people and devastating lives and livelihoods every year, and they will only get worse without immediate and determined action.

The World DisastersReport 2020 insists that urgent action must be taken at the community level, where it is needed the most. But all actors have to be smarter about how they do this.

Informed by the recommendations of the World Disasters Report, IFRC is urging all to become climate smart, by getting their priorities right, by integrating and localising their approach.

In Africa, IFRC is launching 4 initiatives which will aim to adapt to and mitigate climate change; reduce poverty; provide effective and timely response to localised crises and disasters--among other goals.

IFRC's Mukhier said: "The pandemic has shown the entire humanitarian sector that the future is local. The Red Cross volunteers and staff in Africa have been supporting communities in over 20 climate-related emergencies this year already, as well as trying to keep people safe from COVID-19."

The report is available for download on this link: World Disaster Report 2020.

Note to Editors

IFRC has produced its flagship World Disasters Report since 1993. Each edition analyses important issues related to disaster risk management, highlights good practices and challenges, and provides policy and practice recommendations.

For more information, please contact:

African Union Commission, Addis: Mr. Molalet Tsedeke, Media Coordinator, Directorate of Information and Communication, African Union Commission, +251-911630631, MolaletT@africa-union.org ;

IFRC, Nairobi: Euloge Ishimwe, Head of Communications for Africa, 254 731 688 613, euloge.ishimwe@ifrc.org

About IFRC

IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives and promote dignity around the world.www.ifrc.org - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

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