ADDIS ABABA, July 19 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) on Monday emphasized the need to integrate climate-resilient recovery approach from the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest economic recession in nearly a century and the impacts on Africa have been particularly stark, the AU said in statement.
According to the AU, food insecurity and debt have been rising, and the hard-won development gains are being lost.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in Africa, the situation remains fluid and rapidly evolving, with measures needed to ensure the trajectory of the recovery remains in line with the Paris agreement and the ambition of COP26,” the statement read.
The AU’s call for green recovery came shortly after the launching of a Continental Green Recovery Action Plan, which emboldens action on five priority areas that include improving climate finance, supporting the just transition to renewable energy, nature-based solutions and a focus on biodiversity, resilient agriculture, and green and resilient cities.
The continental action plan, which will run from 2021 to 2027, is expected to contribute toward attaining the targets contained in Africa’s 50-year development blueprint of Agenda 2063 and to support the Continent to get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
In the last two decades, Africa has recorded a growth rate of 4.6 percent on average, despite an unfavorable international economic and financial environment, according to recent data from the AU.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, plunged the continent into its first recession in 25 years, which has exposed the vulnerability of African economies, said the AU.
According to the AU, the cumulative loss of Africa’s gross domestic product is estimated at between 145 and 190 billion U.S. dollars, with worrying projections that 39 million more people could be pushed into extreme poverty if urgent and purposed measures are not taken to address the socio-economic difficulties caused by the pandemic.