Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AFDB), has expressed fears that hunger and food insecurity may kill more Africans than COVID-19.
He spoke on Tuesday at the Leaders’ Dialogue on Africa COVID-Climate Emergency event organised by the bank and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA).
Adesina said it is important to improve food security in rural and urban communities, particularly with the coronavirus outbreak.
According to Adesina, medicines and vaccines cannot work without food.
He said: “I think that the risks are probably much higher for many in Africa to die from hunger than COVID-19 pandemic. So, we must boost access to food and good nutrition because vaccines are important but only nutrition can sustain.”
He said the AFDB is committed to combating the impact of climate change through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration (AAAP).
“Our ambition is bold: to galvanise climate resilience actions; support countries as they accelerate and scale up climate adaptation and resilience; and mobilize financing at scale for climate adaptation in Africa,” the AFDB president said.
“Africa, which is the world’s least carbon emitter, is facing the worst consequences of the impacts of climate change. 10 out of the top 12 countries most at risk of droughts are in Africa.
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Africa’s climate adaptation costs will reach $50 billion per annum by 2040. Globally only 10 % of climate finance goes into adaptation and Africa receives only 3% of global climate finance.
“Africa needs global solidarity on climate change. Solidarity to boost Africa’s resources & capacities to adapt to climate change. Solidarity with nations to secure them against catastrophic climate risk events & damage.
“The African Adaptation Acceleration Program will build on what is working and speed up the actualization of the African Adaptation Initiative of the African Union.”