Statement delivered by H.E. Abdoulie Jallow, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, The Gambia
V20 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE X
16 April 2023
H.E. Abdoulie Jallow, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gambia
The Gambia is already experiencing severe impacts of climate change while being the least responsible for it. Changing weather front patterns have increased drought and flood risks for our country’s rainfed agriculture resulting in lower yields or crop failure.
Last year, the Gambia experienced widespread flooding affecting an estimated 17,201 people from 1,961 households. Climate change-induced sea level rise and coastal erosion are equally concerning. As a primarily low-lying country, a meter rise in sea level could potentially inundate over 8% of the country’s land area, including 20% of our current lowland rice growing areas.
To ensure food security and protect livelihoods, the Government has implemented measures to reduce and manage these impacts – e.g. insuring against drought. Yet, due to fiscal pressures and growing debt burden as a result of the pandemic and accelerated climate-fueled risk, the cost of capital financing insurance premiums, and building market opportunities for our protection measures proves increasingly difficult.
As climate-fueled risks intensify, losses and damages due to insufficient adaptation responses are weighing heavily on all climate vulnerable countries’ budgets. The major shortfall of financial protection to respond to these stacking losses is further contributing to debt instability.
The V20, together with the G7 have co-developed the Global Shield against climate risk with the hope to harness and see change in pre-arranged and trigger-based financial protection against climate risk capable of ultimately closing the protection gap.
As you might be aware, we are co-chairing the InsuResilience Global Partnership, through which the concept of Global Shield was developed and was consolidated with a broad set of stakeholders and launched at the COP27.
In the midst of this climate chaos, we must turn to economic cooperation and development partners through the V20’s Accra-Marrakech Agenda to support our development aspirations to improve the quality of living standards and the well-being of our citizens. The Global Shield is a strong example of that and we look forward to its implementation in The Gambia.