Climate Change to Forcefully Displace Millions of East Africans: World Bank
As climate change puts the world at risk, East Africa seems to be among the most affected regions with multiple crises ravaging it at once.
Climate change will lead to the displacement of tens of millions of East Africans within the next three decades, even if plans to reverse its impacts on the reason are rolled out, the World Bank said Wednesday.
People affected will include farmers hit by drought, as they will be seeking new arable land or even different work in urban areas climate change is yet to affect. Others will be those chased away by drought and lack of clean and potable water, as they will abandon their homes seeking clean water, according to the report issued just days ahead of the UN COP26 climate summit.
The East African nations of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi have experienced extreme weather events at an alarmingly increasing amount.
Aside from the agriculture-reliant region being struck by drought, it has experienced harsh flooding in 2020 and a historically huge locust infestation that the countries saw in 2019.
"Without broad, urgent action... as many as 38.5 million people could be internally displaced as a consequence of climate change by 2050," said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank vice president for the region.
According to the bank, 'green' steps, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, funding climate change, and other schemes could cut the projected number of displacements by a maximum of 30%.
The bank announced its commitment to ensuring 35% of its financing over the next five years goes to projects that would help in addressing the threat of climate change.
The World Bank's director for Kenya, Keith Hansen, said Kenya has "demonstrated leadership" in the region in terms of establishing a policy framework to mitigate climate risk, though Hansen acknowledged that climate action was still under-funded.
The African nations have been holding on to a promise made by rich counties in 2009. The promise was that the rich would deliver $100 billion a year from 2020 until 2025 to poorer countries in a bid to help them tackle the impact of global warming.
However, the aforementioned funding program will be delayed by three years, COP26 President Alok Sharma admitted Monday.