A new aid-agency partnership is making US$60 million available over the next five years to fund research into how Africa can best deal with the effects of climate change.
The Climate Change Adaptation in Africa Programme, announced today (17 May), is a joint venture of Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK Department for International Development.
IDRC president Maureen O'Neil emphasised that the programme would be led "by Africans for Africans".
"It is critical that Africans shape the research that can best respond to the continent's real needs in the area of climate change adaptation," she said in a press release.
Scientists predict that climate change will make extreme weather conditions — such as floods and droughts, which can erode soil and lead to crop failure — more common in Africa.
The programme aims to improve the capacity of African countries to adapt to such conditions by bringing scientists and governments together to share expertise and develop evidence-based policies.
Highlighted areas of research include devising plans for cities and towns to prepare for flooding and disease outbreaks, and research into how communities can conserve water so they are less vulnerable to drought.
The IDRC will manage the programme and distribution of funds, overseeing the projects from regional offices in Egypt, Kenya and Senegal, as well its headquarters in Canada.
An open call for draft funding proposals will be launched at the end of May 2006 — applicants should check the programme's website (www.idrc.ca/caaa) for more information.
This preparatory stage will end in late September, and a competitive call for proposals will be made at a later stage.
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