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Ex-Malawi Pres. Joyce Banda Says Global North Has Obligation to Provide Disaster Relief Funds

Joyce Banda

Former President Joyce Banda underscored that the Loss and Damage funds African nations are requesting from the Global North are not a matter of charity but rather a responsibility owed by the international community to assist countries affected by disasters.

For starters, “Loss and Damage Fund,” is a financial mechanism designed to provide crucial support to vulnerable nations facing the brunt of climate-related challenges. This was agreed upon during the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27) in Egypt to set up this fund to create a fund that will help low-income developing countries offset the damage from natural disasters caused by climate change.

Banda delivered these comments on Wednesday during the inaugural session of the 3rd African Regional Dialogue on Loss and Damage meeting at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.

She emphasized the necessity for African leaders to unite in advocating for fairness and ensuring that the Global North upholds its pledge to offer financial assistance to countries in the global south for mitigating loss and damage.

“In providing funds for loss and damage, the Global North is not extending a gift, but fulfilling a responsibility.

“My advice to Africans is that we must persist in our advocacy efforts to increase these pledges. Heads of State must unite as a continent and demand what is rightfully ours to ensure that countries receive the necessary support,” said Banda.

In his remarks, Minister of Natural Resources and Climate Change, Michael Usi underscored that loss and damage is not only an ethical and political issue, but also a developmental one.

He emphasised the need to hold the Global North accountable by presenting the reality of the situation rather than treating it as an academic debate.

“Instances such as Cyclone Freddy serve as powerful illustrations of the urgent need for climate justice. Fulfilling promises is not a favour but an obligation.

“It is imperative for Malawi and other affected nations to develop strategies to ensure that these promises are upheld,” said Usi.

 

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