The challenge of meeting the eight Millennium Development Goals(MDGs)in African countries is compounded by the grave long-term risk posed by climate change. That is the message of a report released today by the United Nations and the African Union.
African countries demonstrably require additional resources for adaptation since they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the growing risk of natural disasters.
The long-term effects of climate change are already being felt in Africa, says the report 'Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa:Recommendations of the MDG Africa Steering Group, June 2008'.
Precipitation patterns are changing, crops are reaching the upper limits of heat tolerance, and pastoralists spend more time than before in search of water and grazing grounds.
Urgent investments are needed to "climate proof" water management for agriculture, develop new production systems such as conservation farming, promote drought and high temperature-tolerant crops, and improve social safety nets for smallholder farmers.