Maputo — Ireland has pledged to disburse five million euros (6.5 million US dollars) to assist the Mozambican government in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change.
An agreement formalising this grant was signed in Maputo on Monday by Mozambican Deputy Foreign Minister Henrique Banze, Irish ambassador Ruairi de Burca, and the head of the European Union delegation in Mozambique, Paul Malin.
The Irish contribution goes towards the Environmental Sector Support Programme II for the period 2011-2015 (ESPS II), an initiative already under way, which also involves the European Union and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
The Irish support will be channelled through the EU initiative known as the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), and it raises the EU support for ESPS II from the previous 10.2 million to 15.2 million euros.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Banze said the Irish contribution will allow the government to step up its efforts in the fight against the adverse effects of climate change.
Among the various actions to be undertaken, Banze stressed "adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, with a special focus on the most vulnerable rural communities. It will also support the agriculture and forestry sectors, and the adequate integration of climate change into the development initiatives and strategies aimed at reducing poverty".
Speaking for the European Union, Malin said that climate change could hinder the attainment of Mozambique’s development goals. "For this reason, Ireland, Denmark and the European Union preferred to join their efforts and strengthen the environmental sector support programme that already existed between the Mozambican government and DANIDA", he said.
Ruairi de Burca praised the government for its recognition of the threat posed by climate change. "Including environmental questions, and particularly climate questions, in development planning and budgeting, is an important step in poverty reduction", he said.
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