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African Youth Call for Urgent Action on Climate Change Adaptation Financing

In a pivotal gathering of young minds at the Youth Forum on Adaptation Finance in Africa (YOFAFA), held in Yaounde, Cameroon, approximately 200 participants from across the African continent united in a collective plea to the international community. The urgent appeal, made on Saturday, November 18, aimed to double funding for climate change adaptation in Africa, emphasizing the critical role of financial support in securing a sustainable future for the continent.

Key Declarations and Initiatives:

The participants issued a declaration during the three-day conference, titled “The Yaounde African Youth Call on More than Doubling Adaptation Finance for a Resilient Africa.” This document is slated to be presented at the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai next month.

The forum operated under the theme “Empowering Africa: More than Doubling Adaptation Finance for a Resilient Future,” with participants expressing concern about the current gap between actual adaptation financial flows, commitments, and the real needs on the ground. They stressed the disproportionate impacts of climate change in Africa and the potential for even greater severity in critical sectors.

Specific Calls to Action:

The African youth at YOFAFA called on industrialized countries and major polluters to develop a blueprint at COP28, outlining a commitment to more than double annual adaptation finance flows to Africa by 2025. They urged a shift from mere pledges to concrete actions, emphasizing the necessity for these actions to be in partnership with African leaders and stakeholders.

The participants advocated for an increased share of adaptation finance within the overall climate finance portfolio. They emphasized the importance of ensuring that funding aligns with the adaptation needs and costs of African countries. Even with a potential annual funding increase to $40 billion, the participants noted that it would still fall short of the assessed needs of the African continent.

Recommendations for Effective Adaptation Financing:

The forum participants put forth several recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of adaptation financing:

  1. Enhanced Access and Delivery: They called for adaptation finance that is grants-based and predictable.
  2. Simplification of Procedures: Participants urged the simplification and streamlining of procedures and criteria for multilateral funds and bilateral donors.
  3. Capacity Building: Strengthening the capacities and readiness of African institutions, with a focus on frontline communities, youth, and women-led initiatives.
  4. Efficient Decision-Making: Advocacy for effectiveness and efficiency in adaptation finance through participatory and inclusive planning and decision-making processes.
  5. Scaling Up Financing: The forum emphasized the need for scaling up adaptation finance by supporting the development of new financial instruments, private sector investments, and partnerships.

YOFAFA 2023 and Supporting Organizations:

The Youth Forum on Adaptation Finance in Africa (YOFAFA) is a youth-led movement convened by the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and the African Coalition for Sustainable Energy and Access (ACSEA). Supported by organizations such as the African Development Bank, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and several other partners, YOFAFA is part of the broader Youth for Adaptation Finance in Africa Initiative (YAF).

Conclusion:

As climate change poses increasingly severe threats to the African continent, the youth-led initiative at YOFAFA highlights the urgency for enhanced adaptation financing. The declarations and recommendations put forth by the participants underscore the necessity for global collaboration and concrete actions to ensure a resilient and sustainable future for Africa. The forthcoming COP28 provides a critical opportunity for the international community to respond to this call for increased adaptation finance and address the unique challenges faced by the African continent in the face of climate change.

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