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The deputy prime minister of Somalia, in a region affected by floods, urges for quicker and simpler allocation of funds for climate-related issues.

Somalia’s deputy prime minister has emphasized the urgency of providing efficient and accessible funding to aid vulnerable countries in repairing the irreversible harm caused by the climate crisis.

According to Salah Jama, the agreement reached on a fund for loss and damage during the first day of Cop28 last week is positive for countries on the frontlines, such as Somalia. However, he also emphasized the need for quick implementation and addressed the issue of bureaucratic obstacles hindering access to the financing.

Jama, currently in Dubai for the climate summit, emphasized the importance of providing grants instead of loans to Somalia. This is due to the country’s inability to accrue more debt.

According to the speaker, nations like Somalia have faced challenges in obtaining climate funding due to their recent experience of severe flooding. This funding has primarily been directed towards wealthier countries and is not readily available to nations rebuilding after conflict or those with unstable political systems.

“We aimed to amplify the voices of our communities who have suffered from the impacts of climate change, ranging from droughts to floods,” he explained to the Guardian. “We are optimistic that the loss and damage funds and other measures will assist us in alleviating these effects.”

After facing opposition from wealthy nations, who are primarily responsible for emissions, the establishment of a loss and damage fund was finally approved at Cop27 in Egypt in 2022. The specific workings of the fund have yet to be determined.

On Thursday, an agreement was reached to have the World Bank host a fund with an initial amount of $429 million (£340 million). Various studies estimate that the annual cost of loss and damage from the climate crisis is around $400 billion.

Jama stated that although African countries have only accounted for less than 3% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, they are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change. This is evident in the current situation where one-third of Somalia is experiencing devastating floods, causing major disruptions to people’s livelihoods and way of life.

Support must be given promptly to those countries in order to achieve justice.

An aerial view of submerged residential area in Beledweyne, in the Hiran region of Somalia on 15 November 2023.

Jama emphasized that in addition to financial resources, Somalia requires assistance in the form of technical expertise to develop water and agriculture infrastructure.

He stated that countries such as Somalia should be given special attention in addressing this issue, as the consequences of climate change greatly harm our communities.

According to Jama, over 100 individuals have lost their lives and tens of thousands of animals have perished due to the recent flood caused by a long period of drought.

These are chaotic and unbearable conditions. This is why we are calling for significant assistance and advocating for our country. There are also other nations facing similar circumstances as ours.

Source: theguardian.com