Environment Minister addresses challenges of refugees, climate change in developing countries

Shaimaa Raafat
3 Min Read

Egypt’s Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad participated on Monday in a high-level panel discussion on the “Interconnected Refugees and Climate Initiative: The Way Forward,” launched by the King of Jordan during the Climate Summit (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2022.

The event was held on the sidelines of the COP28, currently being held in the UAE, in the presence and participation of Muawiyah Al-Radaida, Jordan’s Minister of Environment, Andrew Mitchell, the UK Minister of International Development and Africa, and a representative of the World Bank.

Fouad emphasized that the initiative is important because it addresses one of the consequences of climate change that does not receive enough attention, which is the forced displacement of people. She said that Egypt and Jordan, as host countries for refugees, face additional responsibilities and burdens to provide humanitarian assistance, education, health, and services to refugees, while also dealing with the effects of climate change.

She added that the complexities of climate and refugees are increasing, which leads to more risks and challenges for the affected countries. She stressed that delaying appropriate intervention by the international community will worsen the situation and make it harder to address.

She pointed out that the Just Transition Program established by COP27 aims to develop practical solutions to achieve a just transition, which requires increasing the funding to help countries adapt to climate change. She said that the current funding is insufficient and does not follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, as stated in the Paris Agreement.

Fouad explained that the Just Transition Program can provide several solutions to all affected countries, such as developing the sectors of food security and energy. She said that Egypt suffers from a major water problem due to climate change, which affects other important areas such as agriculture.

She also said that the newly established Loss and Damage Fund will have an innovative and effective role in addressing the effects of climate change, including climate and environmental refugees. She said that the fund will help alleviate the financial, technological, and social burdens on host countries, and protect their political and social stability.

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