The Southern African Development Community(SADC), the United Nations, the European Union, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), co-organized a High Level Event Responding to the Impacts of El Niño and Mitigating Recurring Climate Risks, held on 23 September 2016 in New York, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. The objective of the event was, among others, to call the attention to the people around the world about the El Niño-linked drought and climate impacts, to promote an integrated response that takes into account the immediate humanitarian needs, preparedness for future weather events, while exploring options for longer term partnerships and investments to build resilience to the impact of climate shocks.
The meeting discussed elements of the UN Special Envoys strategy, the Blueprint for Action, aimed at improving the response to future climate events, noting the indicative elements of the Blueprint which are:
• Reshaping: support and implement climate proofed and risk-informed development strategies and investments;
• Anticipating: commit to early warning and early actions, including emergency preparedness;
• Absorbing: improve access to adequate and on-time finance, risk transfer and social protection mechanisms; and
While the event appreciated the support and contributions mobilized so far, the high level event called upon the international community to provide more expeditions resources to cover the humanitarian assistance gap. Out of the required resources estimated at 5 billion USD, only 1.9 billion USD have been realized. The SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr Tax, highlighted that, as far as the SADC Region is concerned out of needed 2.5 billion USD, the region has received confirmation of support to the tune of 595 million USD (From USAID, DIFD, and Israel); and pledges of approximately 20 million USD (from Germany and Australia).Remarks by SADC Executive Secretary
The event was opened by the UN Deputy Secretary General, Mr Jan Eliasson while key note speakers included the UN Special Envoys for El Niño and Climate, H.E. Mrs. Mary Robinson and Ambassador Macharia Kamau; the Executive Secretary of SADC, H.E. Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax; the Executive Secretary of IGAD, H.E. Mr. Mahboub Maalim, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Mr. Christos Stylianides, and the Executive Director of Oxfam International, Mrs Winnie Byanyima.
The event was attended by High Level representative from the Private Sector, Relevant IASC Principals and SRSG for ISDR, High-Level Representatives of relevant Member States, High-Level Representatives of Regional Organizations and NGOs.