As many as 49-million people in Southern Africa could be affected by a drought that has been worsened by the most severe and longest El Nino weather pattern in 35 years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday. The WFP, which has previously said 14-million people face hunger in the region, said the El Nino conditions had caused the lowest recorded rainfall between October and December since 1981. The forecast for January to March indicated a high probability of below-normal rainfall in Southern Africa, which would result in one of the worst droughts on record, it added.
The Manager and Senior Technical Advisor, Daniel Opwonya explaining to the Uganda National Meteorological Authority, (UNMA) and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) staff members about the newly installed weather stations in Entebbe, Kampala on Thursday, 11, February, 2016. The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) has started the installations of automatic weather stations in Kampala. Twenty weather stations are to be installed in various districts with the first phase seeing 12 being installed in February and eight in the second phase. The installation is aimed at improving the provision and utilization of targeted meteorological products by strengthening both product generation in terms of quality, quantity and flow of information.
Local media report Pacific archipelago's parliament unanimously agrees to ratify UN climate deal ahead of high-level signing ceremony in New York in April. Fiji has become the first country in the world to formally approve the UN climate deal agreed by 195 nations in Paris in December last year. The island nation's parliament unanimously agreed to ratify the Paris Agreement on Friday, according to local news reports. The motion was proposed by the country's Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum. He told parliament that it would need to ratify the treaty ahead of a signing ceremony in April in New York, where Fiji's Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, will formally sign the document on behalf of the country. He said tackling climate change was a major priority for the archipelago, which could face wide-scale flooding, fiercer tropical storms, and depleting fish stocks as a result of the world's changing climate.
The Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched the US$15 million Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP), in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Yesterday’s launch follows a two-day meeting with more than 40 representatives from eight Caribbean countries, including government officials, technical advisors, NGO and UN partners to set out a roadmap to mitigate and adapt to climate change, in line with countries’ long-term strategies.
The European Union is set to give Zimbabwe an additional $4.5 million with a view of raising more funds to ease a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon and a crumbling economy. EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Phillepe Van Demme, told journalists in Harare on Thursday that the regional body confirmed the funding Wednesday. “We will obligate another $4.5 million for Zimbabwe for close monitoring of the challenges and quantification … through the quick assessment being organized by ZIMVAC that will have more precise figures which will allow not only the EU but member states of the EU and other international partners to go back to their capitals and find out whether additional support can be mobilized.”
In addition to the 42 million Euros the German government committed for drought resilience programmes, a 959 million Br fund was extended for mitigating the impact of the current drought in the country. The fund is earmarked for programmes to be implemented through specific development institutions and development partners-not directly by the government. Joachim Schmidt, Germany's Ambassador to Ethiopia, in a release sent to media described the act as a "gesture of solidarity with the people of Ethiopia" and the government as the lead in mitigating the drought impact.
Brazil is shipping maize to South Africa, a traditional maize exporter suffering from an El Niño-related drought, as it seeks new markets for its growing corn production. razil exported 321,662 tonnes of corn to South Africa in 2015, up from none the previous year, data from the Trade Ministry showed this week. Three more cargoes are on the way or likely to leave Brazilian ports soon, according to shipping data as well as a South African trade source.
Tonga is one of four Pacific island countries chosen by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London for a study of small island states that looks at governance and levels of vulnerability and resilience to external shocks. Visiting Nuku’alofa this week a team of three researchers were building up a profile of Tonga’s strengths and weaknesses in its ability to govern itself and respond to challenges of many kinds. The information was gathered through consultation and surveys presented at a Resilience Profiling Workshop for different sectors held at the Fa’onelua Convention Centre on January 25, presented by Dr Denny Lewis-Bynoe, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Adviser and Head of Climate Finance and Small States Economic Policy, with Mr Wonderful Hope Khonje, Economic Officer, and Mr Jean Paul Fabri, a consultant.
The European Union, EU and the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO have committed about 200 million Euros to boost the Great Green Wall (GGW) Project in six African countries. The gesture which is coming on the heels of the just concluded COP 21 in Paris, is borne out of the the interest of international donors to assist West African countries in the continuous implementation of GGW Project in the Sahara and Sahel regions. Speaking on the sidelines of a regional technical workshop organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Abuja, the Forestry Officer, Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division for FAO, Ms. Nora Berrahmouni, said the regional GGW technical restoration workshop involved different GGW countries from West Africa.
The Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID) and Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) recently said they are strengthening their partnership with a new agreement that will benefit future collaborations on a multitude of fronts. "FAO and DFID share a vision for a world where communities are food secure, their productive assets are protected and the world's natural resources are managed sustainably," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, said.