President Irfaan Ali today addressed the international community to appeal for more investment in climate resilience necessitated by the harsh realities low-lying coastal regions face in the climate crisis.
Overtopping of sea defences, flooding, swelling of rivers, extreme precipitation followed by extreme drought and landslides are just some of the adverse climate conditions faced by Guyana and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Aside from this, there are inherent financial factors restricting efforts in food security such as; diseconomies of scale, smallness of land resources, remoteness from larger markets, susceptibility to external shocks and market vulnerabilities, narrow revenue base, fragile ecosystems and their vulnerability to climate risks.
President Irfaan Ali therefore proposes that more funding be allocated to Guyana and other nearby developing nations who have and will be most affected by worsening climate conditions.
“It is my hope therefore, that the FAO can conceptualise and facilitate the establishment of a special adaptation fund for SIDS and low lying coastal states disbursed on a basis of vulnerability index, rather than on the traditional measures relating to gross domestic product. I also call for a climate vulnerability fund. These will help unlock much needed and specially tailored resources.”
He was at the time addressing World Leaders at the FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum in the World Food Forum, being held this year under the theme Healthy Diets. Healthy Planet.”
This event is an opportunity for governments, the private sector, multilateral development banks and other donors to more precisely target agricultural investments for resilient, sustainable, and productive agri-food systems.
The Head of State further cautioned that without this funding for proper climate adaptation, countries such as ours will be continuously affected by adverse environmental conditions.
“Without this investment, food security will remain a peril in SIDS and low lying coastal states. SIDS and low lying coastal states need climate adaptation financing on soft terms; more grants, concessionary interest rates and long-term repayment periods.”