Donor support vital for climate change mitigation – report

VSLAs smallholder farmers


The country will require consistent support from development partners and donors to fund climate change interventions, according to the 2023 Ghana Climate Report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The prevailing economic situation, characterised by high public debt and heightened economic conditions,  does not allow for self-funded activities to address the challenges posed by climate change.

The report noted the vulnerability to rising sea levels, droughts, increasing temperatures and erratic rainfall, which adversely impact infrastructure, hydropower production, food security, and coastal and agricultural livelihoods. These impacts have significant implications for food security and the livelihoods of people, as they exacerbate food insecurity and affect the rural economy along the agriculture value chain.

Data from the USDA reveals that Ghana received approximately US$776.5million from international donors between 2013 and 2017 to address climate change.

The European Union (EU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United States Government are the three largest providers of climate change funding to Ghana.

However, the World Bank estimates that the yearly cost to fund and maintain interventions – such as agriculture, environmental management, climate risk preparedness and sustainable energy production – will be approximately US$2billion.

Meanwhile, urgent climate actions are needed to prevent one million more people in Ghana from falling into poverty due to climate-related disasters and to avoid a potential 40 percent reduction in income for poor households by 2050.

The report expresses concerns about the agriculture sector, which is dominated by smallholder family farms that are predominantly rain-fed and, therefore, sensitive to climate changes. Only a small fraction of the country’s irrigation potential is currently utilised, leaving the majority of farms vulnerable to erratic precipitation patterns.

Despite these challenges, the county’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and active participation in international climate negotiations demonstrate its commitment to tackling the challenge. However, the report notes that existing funding sources are insufficient to address all the country’s climate change needs, especially considering the current economic situation.

In addition to relying on donor support, Ghana is not expected to be in a position to raise public investment to fund the interventions needed to address the impacts of climate change in the country.

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