By Temitope Ponle
Abuja, – The Swiss Confederation and Spain, have announced additional financial support of 10 million Euros to African countries and cities affected by the negative effects of climate change.
In a statement issued by the Communication and External Relations Department of the AfDB, the announcement was made at the ongoing 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference.
It is also known as Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27).
Also, the announcement was made for the Swiss Confederation through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in partnership with the AfDB Group.
Switzerland and Spain confirmed they would each donate approximately five million Euros to the AfDB Group’s Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF).
The UMDF is a trust fund that would help African vulnerable countries to encourage equitable green and climate resilient urbanisation.
It was also created by the AfDB in 2019 to work upstream with African municipalities, local and national authorities by consolidating investment action plans, accelerating project identification and preparation (pre-investment activities).
Amb. Dominique Paravicini, SECO’s Head of Economic Cooperation and Development spoke on Switzerland’s recognition of the importance of cities for economic development, and their impact on and vulnerability to climate change.
Paravicini is also the Swiss Governor for the AfDB.
“After successfully establishing its African Cities Programme, the Urban and Municipal Development Fund should now be enabled to scale-up its valuable support to more cities throughout the African continent.
“SECO consequently increases its contribution by CHF 4.9 million. A part is intended for cities in emerging economies such as Egypt, Ghana and South Africa.
“Switzerland expects its contribution to have a catalytic effect on other potential donors to raise contributions to the fund,” Paravicini said.
Also speaking, Ramón López Pérez, said Spain recognised the significant role the AfDB Group played in fostering economic and social progress in Africa.
Pérez is the Senior Advisor on Climate Finance in Spain’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.
“In times of uncertainty and in spite the current generalised budgetary constraints following the extraordinary expenses due to the response to COVID-19 pandemic, this new contribution reaffirms the strong support of Spain to the AfDB.”
Thanking the partners for the support, Mike Salawou, Director of Infrastructure and Urban Development Department, AfDB Group said the support from the governments of Switzerland and Spain was precious.
“This additional budget will boost the UMDF activities, allowing us to support better urban governance and planning, and ensure that partner cities develop sustainably in a climate-optimised manner.”
According to the statement, Africa is projected to face the fastest urban growth rate in the world at about 3.2 per cent per annum.
By 2050, it is expected that about 1.5 billion people will live in Africa’s towns and cities, an additional urban population of 900 million people. (NAN)