The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Zambia has been estimated to have lost US $4 billion in the last 10 years from the effects of climate change.

The UNDP has since called for the need to mainstream climate change into all plans for all sectors through the National Adaptation Planning Process.

Speaking during the project launch and inception of Strengthening Climate Resilience for Agricultural Livelihoods In Agro-Ecological Zones I And II In Zambia, UNDP Officer-in-Charge Sergio Valdini told stakeholders that the country had lost an estimated US$4 billion in the last 10 years from the effects of climate change.

It was revealed during the launch that the seven-year project, which runs from 2019 to 2025, will have a total of US $137.3 million in grants with US$32 million having been secured from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and a co-financing grant of US$105.3 million from the Zambian government and UNDP.

The UNDP officer warned that if climate change was not addressed, Zambia risked losing the gains that had been made on the economic front.

“Climate change is real, and the effects of water scarcity, floods, warmer temperatures and pests are a reality affecting us. The frequency and intensity of adverse weather and climate-related events is on the increase. Through our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the Seventh National Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must apply the human and financial resources to combat climate change and build resilience for communities. As is understood, a dollar invested in resilience building can save more than US $7 that would be needed to undertake disaster and risk management,” Valdini said in Lusaka.

Valdini, however, commended the Zambian government for successfully satisfying the requirements of the GCF, which led to financing of the project proposal to the tune of US $32 million that was being launched.

“We need to use effective and efficient mechanisms to implement the project. The GCF Independent Evaluation Unit has selected this project [Zambia] as one they will use to learn lessons and improve designs and inform the approval requirements by the board. Zambia is in the spotlight and we have an opportunity to leverage more funds from the GCF if we can show good implementation on this project. UNDP is committed and remains a trusted partner of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, and remains at your disposal for more resource mobilisation efforts in support of the Government,” Valdini said.

Under the launched project, government anticipates reaching more than three million indirect beneficiaries in 16 districts within the designed Agro-Economical Regions consisting of Mambwe, Nyimba, Chongwe, Luangwa Chilundu, Rufunsa and Chama.

Other targeted districts include Mafinga, Kazungula Siavonga, Gwembe, Namwala, Shang’ombo, Senanga, Sesheke and Mulobezi.

Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo said the project would support government to take meaningful steps to enhance resilience of vulnerable populations in the targeted districts, many of whom are women and the youth.

Katambo said the women and the youth would benefit from the project through scaled-up use of tailor-made weather advisories to inform decision-making by the farming community.

– Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.