MAURITANIA: ADF Funds Climate Change Resilience with $2.1 million

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MAURITANIA: ADF Funds Climate Change Resilience with $2.1 million©DorSteffen/Shutterstock

The African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional loan window of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group, has just released 2.1 million dollars to finance a climate resilience program in Mauritania. In this Sahelian country, the phenomenon is manifested by the multiplication of drought episodes.

Mauritania is one of the African countries most affected by climate change, which is manifested by an increase in drought episodes. To enable the population to adapt and adjust their activities to this climate disruption, the African Development Fund (ADF) has just released 2.1 million dollars for the Disaster Risk Financing Program.

The concessional loan window of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group has released these funds as part of its Africa Disaster Risk Financing Programme (ADRiFi). This program launched by the pan-African bank aims to prevent and better respond to disasters, to review the adaptation measures taken at the national and sub-national levels to protect the environment. The program also aims to build the capacity of stakeholders in assessing the risks and expenditures related to climate change.

Risk management in the agricultural sector

In Mauritania, ADF financing should make it possible to take out an insurance policy indexed to drought risk. It will also enable the development of climate change risk management solutions; support for access to disaster risk transfer mechanisms; and program management and coordination.

This insurance should protect the Mauritanian economy from drought-related shocks at a time when the country is also facing the Covid- 19 pandemic: “ADRiFi Mauritania will provide timely and effective first aid services to targeted beneficiaries in disaster-affected communities. It will build resilience to drought-related disasters in Mauritania,” said Atsuko Toda, the AfDB’s Director for Agricultural Finance and Rural Development.

Mauritania’s risk insurance policy will be held by the African Risk Capacity Agency (ARC), the AfDB’s partner in the ADRiFi program. The Saharo-Sahelian country is experiencing recurrent droughts that affect its agriculture, plunging the population into food insecurity. According to the ADB, in 2017, 28% of Mauritanians were food insecure.

Climate risk management solutions

According to the ADB, the implementation of climate risk management solutions will be done in two ways: by strengthening national capacity to better understand the risk of drought and implement contingency plans, “and by collecting more accurate agro climatic data that can be used to adjust the indexed insurance policy, on the other hand.” Technical staff and decision-makers will benefit from capacity building that will be useful for more effective modelling of drought-related disaster risks in Mauritania.

“As part of the second component, ADRiFi will finance the payment of 50% of the insurance policy premium for the years 2020 and 2021 and will help mobilize resources to set up a response mechanism to the food crisis,” adds the ADB.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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