World Bank urges Sahel countries to diversify their economies

Cultivated plots on the edge of the Ouadi Moura, in Chad, in March 2019.

In a report released Monday, September 19, the World Bank urged countries in the sahel accelerate structural reforms to diversify their economies, in order to limit the impact of climate change. “Climate change is increasing tensions in the countries of the Sahel. The region is one of the most vulnerable in the world to extreme droughts, floods, heat waves and other impacts related to climate change”warns the report, which estimates that the region could experience a temperature increase of 2°C by 2040.

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The international institution adds that by 2050, the annual GDP of Niger could fall by 11.9% and that of the Burkina Faso 6.8%, under pessimistic low precipitation scenarios. But the report, which shows that the financing needs of the five Sahelian countries (maliNiger, Burkina, Chad, Mauritania) in terms of climate actions “amount to more than 30 billion dollars”ensures that the damage caused by climate change can be significantly reduced.

“This report provides a roadmap to help countries accelerate reforms and investments to diversify their economies and make them more resilient and inclusive”, explains Clara de Sousa, Director of World Bank Operations for Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad. Among its recommendations, the World Bank recalls the importance of economic growth “fast, resilient and inclusive” as "best form of adaptation to climate change".

“Resilient” agriculture

“The more prosperous a country and its citizens, the more resources government, businesses and households have to invest in climate change adaptation technologies”expands the text. “A country that makes its agriculture resilient and diversifies its economy will be better prepared to deal with climate shocks”adds the institution, which also calls for the establishment of a better social protection system in these countries.

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To make these investments, the World Bank – which claims to have provided over the past three years “a record level of funding” to the Sahelian countries – recommends in particular to appeal to the private sector. “The costs of inaction are much higher than those of action”insists the report, which recalls that the five Sahelian countries contribute to less than 1% of greenhouse gas emissions.

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The World with AFP

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