Environmental group urges African governments to rise against COVID-19, climate and health crises

Posted by News Express | 6 August 2020 | 699 times

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•A cross section of African leaders

The African Climate Justice Group (ACJG) on Friday called on African governments and institutions to respond urgently to climate, health and COVID-19 crises facing Africa.

ACJG, a coalition of over 300 African and international organisations and individuals, made the call in a statement signed by Joyce Ebebeinwe, Programme Officer, Health of Mother Earth Foundation on behalf of the group.

“Today we start a week of action, kicking off with a advocacy to key continental institutions including the United Nations Environment Programme, African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

“African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Development Bank Group (AfDB), World Health Organisation Africa Region – WHO-AFRO, subregional institutions, and national governments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and is exacerbating existing inequalities in the globalized neo-liberal and patriarchal socio-economic system.

“Cascading social and economic crises are developing and, across Africa, a major food crisis may be looming as informal markets are shut down and African livelihoods are being impacted. Along with this, the climate crisis continues to ravage the African continent and so many parts of the world.

“Both the COVID-19 and the climate crises are human-made, rooted in the way our political and economic systems driven by the lust for profit, treat the Earth and her people.

“Transnational corporations (TNCs), in collusion with African governments and other elites, operate with impunity and with disregard for people and the planet.

“Their activities have impacted livelihoods of local communities by grabbing lands and capturing natural resources, including through carbon markets and other harmful false solutions.

“They have polluted our air, water, lands, bodies and communities,” the statement reads in part.

The environmental activists regretted that structural adjustments, austerity measures, dismantling of the state and of public services, cuts to social services, privatization of essential services and indebtedness, have ensured that African states have the least amount of readiness to respond to crises.

They called for action to support essential services, food, water and healthcare system; reorganisation from the economy, support and reemphasise social care work.

They demanded an end to all fossil fuel and extractive projects and preserve human rights; and suspension of austerity induced by debt crisis.

They advised developing countries to avoid the debt trap and accept funding support as grants and not loans, arguing that industrial activities of developed countries amounted to ‘'climate debt’.




Source: News Express

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