Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kenya to get climate funds

By DAVE OPIYO NATION Reporter in Poznan, POLAND

Kenya is among 21 African countries set to benefit from a Sh6.9 billion programme to support efforts to adapt to climate change.

The details have been finalised between the Japanese government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), coinciding with the international Climate Change conference in Poznan, Poland.

Through the programme, UNDP will work with the countries to help them develop their capacity to plan, implement and monitor their development policies that would weather the uncertainties of climate change.

While making the announcement Thursday at a news conference, UN Assistant Secretary General Mr Olav Kjorven said the primary focus will be to ensure that vulnerable individuals do not fall victims to rising temperatures and climate induced shocks.

The funds, he added, will also help participating governments to better tap the additional finance they will need to meet the cost of adapting to climate change.

Said Mr Kjorven, who is also the director of UNDP’s Bureau for Development Policy: “If the financial and food crises this year have taught us anything it has to be heeding to the warning signs.”

“Together, we have an opportunity to change how development is done to respond to the reality and we warmly welcome this partnership with Japan and the participating countries as an investment in our collective future,” he added.

Scientists have warned that Africa’s temperature is likely to increase by between three to four degrees. This will lead to scarcity of water, crop failures and health risks with the poor being the hardest hit.

Other countries set to benefit from the funds include: Bukina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Senegal among others.

The recipient countries were determined based on a number of criteria, including their vulnerability to climate change risks, their interest and their needs.

The programme, which falls under the ‘Cool Earth Partnership,’ is part of Japan-UNDP joint framework for building partnerships to address climate change concerns in Africa, which was established at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development in May this year.

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