The United Nations Development Programme and GEF support Benin in strengthening resilience to climate risks
11 December 2017 Cotonou, Benin – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed today with the Government of Benin, through the Ministry of Planning and Development, a project document for the total sum of U$ 34.95 million (including a contribution of US$4.45 million from the Global Environment Facility Least Developed Countries Fund and UNDP) to help the country strengthen rural populations’ resilience to climate risks.
This new project, entitled Strengthening the Resilience of Rural Livelihoods and Sub-national Government System to Climate Risks and Variability in Benin will help reduce rural populations’ vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change through productive agricultural infrastructures. The project will reach more than 10,000 farmers, including 3,281 women in the communes of Bopa, Bohicon, Avrankou, Ouaké and Savalou.
Upon signing the project document, Mr. Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Minister of State for Planning and Development, acknowledged the presence of Mrs. Jeanne Acacha Akoha, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Living Conditions, for the efforts of her ministerial department in the fight against climate change.
He emphasized the cross-cutting nature of climate change, underscoring that neglecting climate impacts would increasingly undermine the effective implementation of poverty reduction and development programmes in general. The Minister also stressed the importance of improving living conditions for the people of Benin for the Government.
"Beyond eradicating poverty, achieving inclusive and resilient economic growth has become a major challenge for the country," said Tchané. "Climate change is making life more difficult for people who are already struggling to meet their basic needs."
As a response to the current situation, the Government has decided to act urgently to find ways to strengthen its populations’ resilience and enable them to anticipate and overcome the shocks associated with climate change.
Lastly, the Minister of State welcomed UNDP’s support for mobilizing the resources necessary to launch the project.
"The present project aims to support resilient agriculture, build sustainable livelihoods and integrate climate risk considerations into national and local planning processes to reduce the communities' vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change," said Mr. Siaka Coulibaly, Resident Coordinator of the UN System and UNDP Resident Representative in Benin.
This project will contribute to the Government's Action Programme in its second and third pillars pertaining to the structural transformation of the economy and the improvement of population living conditions and to the local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDGs 1 and 2 on eradicating poverty and hunger, SDGs 8 and 12 on decent work and responsible production and consumption, and SDG 13 on combating climate change, explained Mr. Coulibaly.
The project will be implemented over a period of five years, from 2017 until 2022, under the technical leadership of the Center for Partnership and Expertise for Development (CePED).
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Translated by Celina Maiorano.