Latest update on climate adaptation finance

The SDG Knowledge Hub of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) provides the September update on global developments in climate finance for adaptation.


Climate Adaptation Finance Update: GCF Adaptation Projects Get Underway

During the month of September, Caribbean countries received financial assistance in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Cambodia secured funds for strengthening rural disaster risk management (DRM), and Iraq will be receiving multilateral support for agricultural resilience and productivity. A number of Green Climate Fund (GCF)-supported climate adaptation and resilience projects also got underway.

Post-hurricane Assistance to the Caribbean

Climate change is known to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including hurricanes. In September, three devastating hurricanes swept through the Americas, with the Caribbean region being particularly affected. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) announced emergency relief grants of US$200,000 each, and concessional loans to a number of its member countries affected by Hurricane Irma. The CDB also offered similar support to Dominica in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

DRM Efforts Pay Off

The CDB also supported efforts to prepare farmers and residents of Jamaican communities to be disaster ready and build community resilience as part of a DRM training course. A broader initiative kicked off in five island states in Asia-Pacific, which will be working with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) to enhance their resilience to weather events. Funded by the GCF, the project aims to improve the participating countries’ early warning systems that seek to: detect, monitor and forecast hazards; analyze related risks; disseminate timely warnings; and activate emergency response plans.

Cambodian communities of the Tonle Sap Basin will receive US$50 million in additional financing for an ongoing US$51.15 million project that is working to improve agricultural productivity and improve smallholder farmers’ access to markets. Agriculture, which employs 70% of Cambodian households, has seen lower growth rates due to deteriorating natural resources and high vulnerability to climate change, among other factors. Additional funding will expand the programme to further communities and add a DRM element to the irrigation systems and rural roads being built as part of the project.

A final evaluation of a disaster risk reduction (DRR) project targeting 50,000 people living in vulnerable rural areas in Nicaragua, supported by the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), found that the project both increased awareness about climate change and allowed farmers to address its impacts by implementing new agricultural practices, resulting in an 18% increase in production.

The GCF approved US$31.4 million for a project to enhance climate change adaptation in the North Coast and Nile Delta regions in Egypt over the period of seven years. Supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the project, inter alia, aims to protect the densely populated low-lying lands in the Nile Delta, home to 25% of the Egyptian population, which have been identified as highly vulnerable to climate change induced sea-level rise.

Climate-resilient Infrastructure Supports Development

In news on multilaterally-funded climate-resilient infrastructure projects, the UNDP and Tuvalu launched the ‘Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project,’ which will focus on building roads, schools, hospitals and government buildings, as well as related human capacity. The seven-year project is being financed by US$36 million from the GCF and US$2.9 million from the Government of Tuvalu.

The World Bank reported on its efforts in Tajikistan, initiated in July 2017, to strengthen critical infrastructure in the country’s vulnerable regions. The US$50 million project, which is expected to benefit 650,000 people, will target bridges, other transportation networks and river embankments, and will enable the modernisation of Tajikistan’s crisis management systems and the development of a national disaster risk financing strategy.

In Guyana, a CDB-hosted workshop drew attention to the role of climate-resilient public road infrastructure in support of the country’s development. The event was part of an ongoing initiative aimed at integrating climate resilience into the CDB borrowing members’ road transport sector through the development of policies and investment plans.

Agricultural and Water Resilience: Iraq to Partner with IFAD

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) reported on its first post-war agricultural investment project in Iraq. The project, which will target 20,000 households, will aim to enhance climate resilience and improve the productivity of small-scale farmers by providing access to finance, technologies and markets.

The GCF reported on progress in three projects it is funding in the area of rural climate resilience. In Namibia, work has started on projects that seek to create resilient livelihoods through community-based natural resource management and by scaling up the uptake of adaptive measures. In Morocco, the country’s Agency for Agricultural Development is gearing up to design projects aimed at increasing agricultural climate resilience through integrated water management.

In the area of water resilience, the World Bank reported on a mid-term review of a US$200 million project aimed at increasing irrigation water availability, and enhancing water security and climate resilience in Kenya through 2022. The review showed that the project and its objectives remain highly relevant and demonstrated “early positive signs of progress.” However, it also revealed that the set targets were “overly ambitious,” owing to delays in procurement of major contracts, inefficient project management and a very centralized implementation structure. As a result, a restructuring is being proposed to align a number of indicators and costs and to speed up implementation.


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