The International Monetary Fund has said that African countries experience one-third of the world’s drought and are vulnerable to rising temperatures and extreme weather as a result of their dependence on rain-fed agriculture.
The IMF stressed that a single drought can lower a country in the region’s medium-term economic growth potential by one percent.
It disclosed this in a blog post published titled, ‘Poor and Vulnerable Countries Need Support to Adapt to Climate Change.’
The Washington-based lender said, “Long-term savings from investment in resilience and coping mechanisms—such as better irrigation, improved seed varieties, strengthened health systems, and greater access to finance and telecommunications—can be very significant.
“This is especially true for sub-Saharan Africa, which experiences one-third of the world’s droughts and is particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures and extreme weather because of its dependence on rain-fed agriculture. Our research shows that a single drought can lower an African country’s medium-term economic growth potential by 1 percentage point.”
According to the IMF, adapting to new climatic changes will help a nation address risks from climate change and extreme weather, and in-process safeguard agriculture, manage the impact of rising seas, and make infrastructure more resilient.
It said, “The benefits of investing in adaptation are not confined to sub-Saharan Africa: countries in all regions of the world can benefit from adapting to a hotter planet.
“Yet this doesn’t mean adaptation can replace mitigation. Without strong mitigation, it will be impossible to stabilize global temperature, and adaptation would become impossibly expensive.”
The fund said the cost of public adaptation would reach around 0.25 per cent of global gross domestic product per year in coming decades.
It added that annual needs would exceed one percent of the GDP in about 50 low-income and developing economies for the next 10 years.
According to the IMF, countries that need to adapt the most to climate change lack the means to do so.