ADDIS ABABA, The African Union (AU) Commission has called on African governments to take advantage of schemes conducted under the African Risk Capacity (ARC) scheme to save the lives and livelihoods of populations who are most vulnerable to disasters.
AU Commission Deputy Chairperson Thomas Kwesi Quartey told a media briefing here Monday that the increased frequency of extreme weather events, driven by climate change, had increased the risk of hunger and malnutrition in Africa.
The images we often see of starving people in Africa must stop. Chronic hunger, malnutrition and destitution across the continent are not acceptable. We must break out this cycle as there are modern financial tools which we can use to help us respond earlier, he said.
According to Quartey, the Commission had established a specialized agency, African Risk Capacity (ARC), to provide prompt funds in the event of natural disaster when and where it is needed most for participating African governments. Senegal, Niger, Mauritania and Malawi have already benefited from the ARC scheme.
Currently, the ARC has 32 member countries which have signed the ARC Establishment Treaty but only eight of them have actually participated in the insurance fund, it was pointed out. Quartey said: I want to see more African governments take advantage of the schemes as ARC is theirs.
Approximately two-thirds of the populations of sub-Saharan African countries reside in rural areas and most are dependent on rain-fed agriculture and range land, and are thus subject to the vagaries of the weather.
The African Risk Capacity (ARC) scheme was established as a Specialized Agency of the AU in 2012 to help member States improve their capacity to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters; therefore protecting the food security of their vulnerable populations.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK