African Development Bank extends US$10M grant to upgrade climate information systems in Liberia

LIBERIA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US$10 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, for which the Bank is the accredited agency, to improve Liberia’s early warning weather systems.

The project will also receive US$431,969 from the Bank’s ClimDev Africa Special Fund and US$1 million from the government of Liberia.

The project will entail the installation of weather radar at the country’s Roberts International Airport and establishing unmanned aerial systems for upper-air observation.

It will also promote the establishment of interlinked community and national early warning systems.

Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency will execute the project on behalf of the government over five years.

“Liberia will be better equipped to generate and disseminate accurate climate and weather information for climate change mitigation and early warning, food security, water security, and environmental protection,” said Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning.

Weather disasters cost the country around US$6.17 million each year, a figure that is expected to almost double in the next decade, and triple by 2040 under the baseline scenario.

The country currently lacks the capacity to prepare for and respond to climate-related extreme events.

This is due to inadequate capacity to process climate data and to plan based on short-term and medium-term weather forecasts, and the lack of an effective response mechanism to distribute aid efficiently to affected communities.

The National Disaster Management Agency also lacks the financial and logistical support to function effectively, limiting its ability to undertake disaster risk reduction.

The project will however enhance the country’s capacity to produce tailored, sector-specific climate information services for the benefit of the most vulnerable.

These improvements will enable us to understand how disaster losses occur and how to avoid them in the future, saving lives and preventing economic losses,” added the Minister.

Around 2.3 million farmers and coastal residents, who endure most of the climate events are expected to directly benefit from the project.

Additionally, 5.4 million people in weather-dependent sectors will also benefit indirectly, including those in agriculture and energy production.

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