IMF report: COVID-19 pandemic could weaken Africa’s climate change response

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the measures taken to contain the pandemic stretch limited resources that could further weaken sub-Saharan Africa’s ability to adapt to climate change, warned the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

IMF released a study on the impact of rising temperatures and extreme weather events on growth, on June 4, a day before the World Environment Day.

The study suggests that sub-Saharan Africa will be hit 60 percent harder than the average for other emerging markets and developing economies.  The sub-Saharan Africa is the region most vulnerable to climate change.

The report suggested that the economic activity in the region can shrink by one percent in a month when that month’s average temperature is 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than average.

The IMF report stated, “Containing and managing the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on already limited fiscal space and raising debt vulnerabilities in sub-Saharan Africa.” It added that coronavirus funding could also be used to “simultaneously address climate change”.

The IMF pointed, “Adaptation to climate change would also benefit other development areas, such as resilience to pandemics, and ultimately boost growth.”

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