Adaptation Fund defies COVID-19
IN A show of versatility and efficiency in a time of COVID-19, the Adaptation Fund Board has given the go-ahead for six new concrete projects totalling over US$31 million through a virtual decision-making process that concluded last month.
“This marks the first climate fund to date that has made funding decisions for concrete projects during the pandemic. It is a testament to the nimbleness, versatility and flexibility of the fund to adapt to these circumstances and carry the robust project review process to completion,” said Adaptation Fund Board Chairman Ibila Djibril of Benin.
Those given immediate approval were five single-country projects in Pakistan, United Republic of Tanzania (two), Tunisia and Viet Nam, totalling about US$24.6 million.
A sixth US$6.5-million regional project in the Central Asia region was also technically cleared for approval and will be funded once new resources under the fund’s window for regional projects and programmes are made available. The board expects this to be done shortly in the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.
“I am very pleased to see the Adaptation Fund continue to deliver to those most vulnerable to climate change, particularly in view of the novel COVID-19 global pandemic. It is also great to see commendable efforts continuously being made by developing countries, such as Tanzania, to build excellent technical capacities through national implementing entities that allow them to develop concrete and effective adaptation projects,” Djibril noted.
The projects in Tunisia and Viet Nam are the fund’s first in those countries, while the Central Asia project marks its first regional project in that region. The Tanzania projects are both Direct Access projects from which Jamaica has also benefited in past.
Further, an intersessional record 18 project proposals totalling US$93.5 million in proposed funding were reviewed and considered during the process, reflecting the continued urgency for climate finance and adaptation needs among the most vulnerable countries.
The decisions were moved to an online intersessional format conducted by email vote from the board’s originally scheduled in-person meeting in Bonn, Germany, which was postponed initially from March 31-April 3 and then again from June 23-26, due to the ongoing pandemic.
The new approvals bring the fund’s total number of concrete adaptation projects on the ground to 106, and its committed funds to about three-quarters of a billion US dollars.
“We are proud of the fact that the Adaptation Fund has been able to continue to reach the most vulnerable during these challenging times, including two Direct Access projects, as well as to first-time funded countries such as Tunisia and Viet Nam, and the first regional project in the Central Asia region,” said Adaptation Fund Manager Mikko Ollikainen.
“The projects have practical and innovative measures that will help countries build resilience to climate change, while enhancing water and food security, sustainable livelihoods and ecosystem resilience that are crucial now more than ever,” he added.