Climate change and poverty

douglas_alexanderAs the world ponders the way forward on climate change which threatens the existence of humanity in Copenhagen the Secretary of State for International Development United Kingdom government, Douglas Alexander (Pictured) said in a statement that his government is currently supporting loc

“Our support is already helping communities to tackle climate change.

The UK’s government Department for International Development (DFID) Protracted Relief Programme (PRP) supports conservation farming for some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Zimbabwe,” said Alexander.

Alexander said that they was a need for a commitment from governments to avoid the risk of diverting a large proportion of aid budgets in order to fulfill their commitments to climate change and diverting money away from health care, education, and humanitarian assistance.

“We cannot allow a choice to exist between fighting poverty and tackling climate change and that is why the UK has set a limit of up to 10 % of development assistance that can be used in climate funding,” he said.

Currently the DFID is working with communities in areas of Zimbabwe that have been affected by climate change. Rainfall patterns in Zimbabwe have shifted and in some areas such as low-lying Zambezi climate induced climate floods are being experienced.

“Cropping seasons in Muzarabani have become unpredictable because the communities’ indigenous knowledge systems for weather pattern prediction are now unreliable,” said Alexander.

According to Alexander it is the poor who will bear the brunt of climate change. “The poor are the least responsible for climate change, yet they are already most affected by it. As we look to the future it is clear that climate change will increasingly hit poor people hardest.”

It is against this background that the British government is assisting poor people in Zimbabwe through DFID PRP programme that have seen approximately 40 500 being taught proper conservation farming techniques where selected poor households are provided with inputs and proper training on conservative farming.

Post published in: Africa News

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