New adaptation support for Global Environment Facility a welcome infusion for Africa, says AfDB

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) welcomes the new infusion of US $248 million for the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which was announced Monday at the global climate summit in Paris. The new money, pledged by 11 donor countries (Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America) in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting, opens the door for new critical support for adaptation in the world’s most vulnerable countries, including a majority of African countries.

“Historically, African countries have made the smallest contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, but are currently being disproportionately impacted by the negative impacts of a changing climate,” stated Alex Rugamba, Director of AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department. “It is therefore imperative to use innovative financing tools, such as the LDCF grants, to find environmentally sustainable solutions to close the financing gap and to create a more sustainable development paradigm in Africa.”

As a GEF implementing agency since 2007, AfDB has played a key role in helping African nations build climate adaptation solutions into their development. The AfDB’s GEF portfolio has grown tenfold over the past five years, now including 32 projects financed with US $253 million in GEF grants and $1.8 billion in AfDB co-financing.

The AfDB has risen to become the second ranked agency (after UNDP) for mobilizing funding for adaptation among the GEF’s 18 implementing agencies. This achievement showcases the AfDB’s capacity to raise additional funding for adaptation financing across the continent’s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

As of end October 2015, the climate change adaptation projects funded by AfDB and GEF include more than US $600 million ($102 million in GEF grants, $580 million of AfDB co-financing) for adaptation, reflecting the substantial need across the continent for support to address threats from increasing climatic variability. With the increasing needs for adaptation to climate change, particularly in Africa, it is important for AfDB to continue working with LDCF and the GEF’s Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) to tackle adaptation issues on the continent. 

About the GEF

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) administers two funds for climate change adaptation – the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). Since 2001, the GEF – through the LDCF, the SCCF, and the Strategic Priority on Adaptation program – has provided $1.3 billion in grant financing and mobilized $7 billion from other sources for 320 adaptation projects in 129 countries, including all Least Developed Countries and 33 Small Island Developing States. These projects are expected to directly reduce the vulnerability of 17 million people.

The GEF was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided over $14 billion in grants and mobilized in excess of $70 billion in additional financing for more than 4,000 projects. The GEF has become an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector to address global environmental issues.