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Climate change: World Bank plans to commit $160bn in 2021

Delivers over $83bn in climate finance

WORLD Bank Group has revealed that it could provide as much as $160 billion into 2021 as it fast tracks emergency assistance to 100 developing countries in response to confronting coronavirus and climate change.

This is even as it has delivered more than $83 billion in climate finance in the past five years.

Several countries around the world are facing mounting climate risk, even as they deal with coronavirus.

“The still-unfolding pandemic has taken a heavy toll on global health and could push up to 100 million into extreme poverty. The World Bank Group has fast tracked emergency assistance to 100 developing countries in response and could provide as much as $160 billion into 2021.

“At the same time, the Bank Group remains committed to tackling climate change – another major threat, particularly for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.

“Just after the world came together for the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, the Bank Group unveiled an ambitious Climate Change Action Plan to ramp up financial and technical support to developing countries to step up climate action.

“The World Bank Group committed to increasing climate finance from 20 per cent of lending in 2016 to 28 per cent by 2020. This target was exceeded each year for the last three consecutive years. In total, over the duration of the Action Plan, the Bank Group has delivered over $83 billion in climate finance,” the Group said.

Background:

In 2016, Category 4 Hurricane Matthew made a landfall in Haiti – one of the world’s poorest countries.

It has already endured decades of political upheaval, poverty, and a devastating earthquake.

Matthew affected over two million people, leaving over 500 dead, and displacing 175,000.

“We’ve seen in the last few years that these events are more frequent and more powerful because of climate change,” says Jerry Chandler, a surgeon and disaster medical specialist who leads Haiti’s disaster risk management agency, the Directorate of Civil Protection.

In August 2020, Tropical Storm Laura hit Haiti and its neighbor the Dominican Republic, claiming more lives and sending Haiti’s brigades of volunteers into action.

Candler explained that Haiti is strengthening its national systems for disaster response and risk reduction, though more resources are needed.

Projects are underway to improve weather data and develop a national early warning system, and a national communication campaign is raising awareness of emergency procedures.

“People need to know exactly what they’re up against, so they can adjust and adapt their lives,” Chandler added.

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