Belgium mobilises €25 million for climate damage in Mozambique
Belgium has signed a partnership with Mozambique to help the latter country better prepare for the effects of climate change, Belgium's development minister reports. Belgium is mobilising €25 million for the cooperation programme that will run until 2028. The partnership makes Belgium one of the first countries in the world to put "loss and damage" on the table as a field of action, according to the Belgian minister.
Mozambique is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, says Belgian Development Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit, Flemish Socialists). That is why Belgium is releasing funds to support the southeast African country.
The new partnership makes Belgium one of the first countries in the world to put the issue of "loss and damage" on the table as a field of action, according to Vandenbroucke. "Loss and damage" refers to the costs already incurred due to climate impacts, which vulnerable countries argue should be borne by richer countries that have caused most climate change with their historical emissions. The issue will take centre stage at the UN climate summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh.
In practical terms, the Belgian federal government wants to assist Mozambique in investing in green energy and in protecting communities and critical infrastructure from natural disasters, among other things. Belgian development agency Enabel will power remote areas not connected to the electricity grid with solar panels. Mozambique's ability to develop green hydrogen using wind and solar energy will also be explored, and Belgium will support a Mozambican waste management programme.
According to Vandenbroucke, the cooperation programme will impact more than half a million people. Special attention will be paid to women and young people, as they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Women are largely responsible for providing water and food in Mozambique, for example, but they often have to travel longer distances to do so due to crop failures and extreme drought, explained the Belgian minister.
A child collecting plastic bottles next to a house destroyed by cyclone Idai in 2019 in Beira, Mozambique. The climate crisis is having serious consequences in Mozambique, with parts of the country experiencing drought while others have endured floods and disease outbreaks © KAREL PRINSLOO / UNCDF / AFP