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This year's World Day of Social Justice seeks to rally communities toward collective action on threats to basic rights and human dignity, including poverty and hunger.
On Monday, Rosalid Nkirote, the director of the African Coalition of Communities Responsive to Climate Change (ACCRCC), pointed out that the realization of social justice and cohesion in Africa could be a mirage as the unfolding climate crisis tears communities apart besides worsening poverty and inequality.
"Extreme weather events linked to global warming have diminished fairness, justice, and egalitarianism in the continent," she said on the World Day of Social Justice.
"Climate change alone is wreaking havoc on the African Union's Agenda 2063, which among others aims at improving real per-capita incomes, reducing incidences of hunger, especially among women and youth, and creating job opportunities," Nkirote added.
Marked every Feb. 20, this year's World Day of Social Justice seeks to rally communities toward collective action on threats to basic rights and human dignity, including poverty and hunger.
Climate change, conflicts, and economic recession have worsened the fragility of Africa's poor, denying them basic items like food, clean water, shelter, and health.
Africa is highly vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather impacts, which is why WMO is organizing a regional conference in Africa to enhance the delivery of early warnings and weather services. #EarlyWarningsForAll
Nkirote said climate emergencies have overwhelmed public coffers in the continent, pushing the poor on the margins of survival and denying them a future of hope and dignity.
She also cited the escalating drought in the East and Horn of Africa as reversing gains made in realizing social justice for all, given the magnitude of forced displacement, resource-based conflicts, and hunger.
Statistics from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) indicate that 23.4 million people in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are grappling with acute food insecurity linked to a prolonged and climate-induced drought cycle. As the climate crisis undermines efforts to bridge the access gap on basic services like clean water, electricity, and modern sanitation in Africa, social justice remains a pipedream.
She emphasized that a people-centered climate response will be key to achieving social justice and inclusivity in a continent that contributes least to planetary warming but has borne the brunt of this phenomenon.
The Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council (UNSC) that the rise in sea level generated by climate change threatens entire communities on the planet and is especially serious to almost 900 million people living in low-lying areas pic.twitter.com/YmzPrQFNvx