IMF: Climate Change Aggravates Humanitarian Situation in Conflict-Affected African Countries

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that climate change is worsening the humanitarian situation in African countries affected by conflict, even though Africa contributes very little to global warming in comparison to other continents.

In a report entitled “Climate Challenges in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted that over the past eighteen years, the situation of fragile countries around the world and in Africa has not improved due, among other things, to the correlation between climate change and conflict, two scourges affecting several African countries.

According to the international institution, by 2024, twenty-one African countries are expected to be on the list of fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS).

The Fund also warned that by 2060, the number of conflict-related deaths in fragile countries could rise by almost 10% as a proportion of the population, pointing out that an additional 50 million people could fall prey to famine over the same period as an outcome of climate change.

“Where conflict exists, climate shocks exacerbate its intensity, further compounding fragility,” underlined the report, adding that “by 2040–59, the median FCS will face 61 days/year of temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius, compared to only 15 days for other countries under a high emissions scenario.”

The report also estimated that annually, the number of people affected by natural disasters in fragile countries is three times higher than in other countries and that twice as many people as a percentage of the population will be displaced as a result of such disasters.

“Climate shocks exacerbate fragility by worsening conflict as groups compete for scarce resources,” stressed the IMF’s report, underlining that international partners must help FCSs adapt to extreme weather conditions, as failure to do so could lead to further disruption.

According to the descriptive table included in this report, 29 out of 55 African countries are listed as fragile and conflict-affected over the period 2013 to 2022. However, the Fund drew a clear distinction between extreme cases and those that are less serious.

On the one hand, nine African countries and seven others worldwide have been in the red for several years, while on the other, twenty African countries have only been indexed once, as have thirteen other countries worldwide.

Out of the nine African countries in red, Somalia, Central Africa, and Libya are the most extreme cases, with a conflict intensity of over 95%.

In addition, the report also listed thirteen African countries with the lowest conflict intensity over the period 2013-2022.

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