Minister Caroline Gennez in Mozambique to launch a new cooperation program aimed at combating climate change

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Caroline Gennez, Minister for Development Cooperation, is this week on a working visit to Mozambique, one of the fourteen partner countries of Belgian development cooperation. On this occasion, Minister Gennez will officially sign the new cooperation program with Mozambique and visit Belgian cooperation projects on site.

The new cooperation program between Belgium and Mozambique covers the period from 2023 to 2028, and involves a total contribution of 25 million euros. At the request of the Mozambicans, it is entirely dedicated to the fight against climate change, with the aim of helping the local population to better prepare for its concrete consequences. Mozambique is extremely vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis. In 2019, the country was hit by two unusually powerful cyclones - Idai and Kenneth - which claimed more than 600 lives; this year, it's Cyclone Freddy, the longest to date, that has caused significant damage. The World Bank estimates that average annual flood damage in Mozambique alone amounts to $440 million - almost 3% of GNP.

In this context, two of the areas of action in the new Belgian cooperation portfolio for Mozambique will be devoted to adaptation, on the one hand, and to "loss and damage" linked to climate change, on the other hand. A specific budget of 2.5 million euros has been earmarked for the latter, which was the focus of the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt (COP27).

On Tuesday June 20, Minister Gennez officially launched this new cooperation program, at an event organized by the Belgian Diplomatic Office in Maputo and Enabel, the federal state development agency implementing the projects on the ground. On this occasion, Mozambique's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Verónica Macamo, and Minister of the Environment, Ivete Maibaze, whose administration will play an important role in implementing the projects in this new portfolio, highlighted the concrete impact of Belgian development cooperation to their country.

In addition to the national authorities and non-governmental players involved in Belgian cooperation on the ground, Minister Gennez will also be meeting a number of local and regional authorities in the Gaza province, where a large number of projects under the Belgium-Mozambique cooperation program are located. She will also visit a number of projects being implemented there by Enabel and international partners thanks to our country's support, such as the UN-Habitat agency's work on essential infrastructure to limit damage caused by climate-related disasters, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund's (UNCDF) Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL), which aims to make communities and economies more resilient by increasing funding and investment in climate change adaptation at local level.

On the last day of her visit, Friday June 23, and after a visit to the MOZAL aluminum factory in the Maputo region to better understand the effects for Mozambique of the forthcoming entry into force of the new European border carbon adjustment mechanism, Minister Gennez will meet the Mozambican equivalent of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (IRM). The aim of this meeting will be to see how the new global warning system against extreme weather phenomena, to which Belgium has made a major contribution, will be implemented on a practical level.

Minister for Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez: “The climate crisis knows no borders. We have already experienced this in Belgium with the floods of 2021. Or with the heat and drought records that are broken each year. But the impact in the Global South is even greater. Mozambique is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. Storms and floods are becoming increasingly intense and long-lasting. It costs human lives. This is why I am very happy to sign our new cooperation program here today, entirely dedicated to the fight against the climate crisis. No country can face it alone. If we are to seriously tackle the climate crisis, we must do it together”.

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