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Climate information services
Climate disasters threaten to undermine the record growth being experienced across Africa, with the greatest impacts on the most vulnerable sectors; power supply in energy, hunger and food insecurity in agriculture, new and emerging diseases in health, and interruptions to transport and trade in infrastructure. From 2005 to 2015, Africa experienced a high number of disasters that affected 180 million people. An average of 157 disasters were recorded each year, affecting nearly 10,000 people annually. Most notable are the 2015-2016 El Niño floods across the Horn and southern parts of Africa; and recently, Cyclone Idai, which wreaked havoc in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, causing $1 billion in infrastructure damage, according to United Nations estimates. Idai was closely followed by Cyclone Kenneth, just five weeks later. The challenges are compounded by limited national hazard warning capacities—uneven at best and non-existent at worst. The continent also trails among all regions in terms of land-based observation networks, meeting only about one-eighth of the global minimum requirements. The need for high quality climate information, delivered in real time, and fit-for-purpose in Africa’s diverse context, is indisputable.