The U.S. Agency for International Development committed to providing additional support to help address climate change during the most recent set of United Nations General Assembly High-level meetings.
The efforts will aid communities recovering from the effects of natural disasters and support future resilience, said USAID Chief Climate Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Gillian Caldwell.
“USAID announced a new $53 million for drought relief and support in Africa targeting Angola, Kenya and Madagascar. That's a ... diversified package of relief that's designed to respond to what has been a two-year drought in Africa ... devastating many lives and livelihoods and really causing a nutrition crisis and stunting for many young children.”
That $53 million will be used in a variety of ways, said Deputy Assistant Administrator Caldwell.
“We'll focus on health interventions. We'll focus on addressing water and sanitation and ... restoring the kind of water capability and irrigation in places where that what’s most needed.”
The funding is arranged through the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, or PREPARE. The program seeks to build communities’ resilience in the face of a worsening climate crisis.
“We're talking, of course, about extreme weather events and more generally, the ways in which the economy is being affected by this tremendous crisis.”
The program includes support for agriculture, nutrition, and water security activities for vulnerable populations.
“One of the biggest things we focus on through our adaptation and resilience work is early warning systems, because we know that even 24 hours of advance notice can literally save lives and livelihoods. We're also focused on making sure farmers know what they need to know in terms of planting and harvesting crops, based on what we can see from satellite data and other information regarding weather patterns.”
“Our goal is to reach a half a billion people worldwide with increased capacity to respond to the crisis,” said Deputy Assistant Administrator Caldwell.
The world must urgently reduce emissions, but communities around the world also need immediate assistance to cope with a changing climate.
The United States is calling on other donors and the private sector to join in stepping up to provide immediate assistance to respond to the impacts of climate change, including drought in countries across Africa.