Climate Initiative in Africa will Benefit 5.4 Million Small-Scale Farmers in the Sahel Region

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have agreed to contribute $143 million to the new Africa Integrated Climate Risk Management Programme. 

IFAD, the African Development Bank (AfDB), and African Risk Capacity (ARC) will each contribute $82.8 million and $60.4 million, respectively, according to the GCF. 

The agreement was signed between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) on November 8, 2021, at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

By 2030, the plan aimed to repair 100 million hectares of damaged land. The main goal of the effort, which was initiated by the African Union in 2007, was to sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create 10 million green employments. 

Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal are among the nations where it will be active. It will help to restore the ecosystems of the Great Green Wall. 

In the Great Green Wall locations, the initiative will seek to improve ecosystems, increase food security, create jobs, and promote peace. 

Plans to repair degraded land, create climate information systems, and give agricultural insurance will all be included. It intends to help at least 5.4 million of Africa’s most vulnerable and at-risk small-scale farmers, as well as rural people, become more climate-resilient. 

The initiative will also help nations in the region’s efforts to transition to low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways in agriculture, as reflected in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). 

Around 21.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide are predicted to be reduced or avoided as a result of the initiative. 

The Sahel region of West Africa runs from Senegal to Chad, and is arid country just below the Sahara Desert. The Sahel region is made up of ten countries and has a population of roughly 300 million people. According to the United Nations, it is the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. 

Temperatures are expected to be 1.5 degrees Celsius above the world average. Because some essential staple crops in the region (such as groundnuts) and animals are vulnerable to high temperatures, rising temperatures have a negative influence on harvests. 

The region’s climate has gotten drier, with the rainy season becoming shorter and more intense. 

Monsoon precipitation is expected to increase in the Central Sahel while decreasing in the far western Sahel. 

This is concerning: Agriculture and livestock provide a living for two out of every three inhabitants in the Sahel countries. Due to the variable climate, farmers are unsure when to sow and when to harvest. 

Due to the increased frequency of extreme weather events such as drought and flooding, productivity could drop by up to 30% as a result of the unpredictability.