Impacts of climate change could worsen poverty in Ethiopia: World Bank-Xinhua

Impacts of climate change could worsen poverty in Ethiopia: World Bank

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-28 20:26:45

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has warned that the impacts of climate change could worsen poverty, social tensions and conflict in Ethiopia.

In its Ethiopia's Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR), issued Tuesday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, the World Bank Group said the majority of poor in the East African country are exposed to impacts of climate change and lack the resources to cope with them.

The development lender said Ethiopia's move to reduce poverty has slowed in recent years due to multiple shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict that resulted in high global food and energy prices, an extended drought, and the conflicts in the Tigray region and more recently in the Amhara region of the country.

"Growth has fallen to about 6 percent annually. This will not be sufficient for Ethiopia to achieve its appropriately ambitious development goals, including reducing extreme poverty, which still stands at almost a quarter of the population," the bank said.

According to the report, the cumulative effects of the ongoing drought -- the most severe in the last 40 years with six consecutive failed or poor rainy seasons -- have been devastating for people in the arid pastoral areas of Ethiopia.

It said climate change in the coming decades could reduce the productivity of the agriculture sector, which currently employs about two-thirds of Ethiopia's workforce, including the most vulnerable groups in the population.

The report said higher temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns could also exacerbate the incidence of diseases such as malaria and dengue, which along with likely increasing adverse effects of heat stress, would reduce labor productivity and the prospects of human capital accumulation, both critical to sustaining growth.

The impacts of climate change will also be reflected in severe flooding, reduced crop and livestock yields, more variable hydropower production, infrastructure damage, and losses in human health and productivity, the report said.

The report said that climate change will lead to larger increases in poverty over the next 25 years if structural reforms are not implemented to enhance resilience and reduce the cost of adapting to climate change.

"Without reforms in agricultural policies, Ethiopia will continue to have significant imports of agricultural commodities to meet domestic demand," it said.

With reforms, however, agricultural output will likely increase significantly even with climate change, so that production would outstrip demand by the end of 2030, which would result in a significant increase in exportable surplus from 2030 onward, the report said.

The report also called for more investment in sustainable land management to build resilience to climate change while reducing carbon emissions.