Ethiopia grabs first ClimDev Special Fund grant

15/12/2014
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Ethiopia has sealed a US $1.1 million deal with the newly launched ClimDev-Africa Special Fund (CDSF), to strengthen its climate information and early warning systems for climate resilience development and adaptation – becoming the first African country to benefit from the Fund.

A project document circulated in Lima, Peru, on the side lines of the 20th Session of global climate negotiations (COP 20), states that the Ethiopian project will enhance the building of national capacities in climate monitoring, data analysis, interpretation, forecasting and dissemination to foster the use of climate services in decision-making.

It is the second phase of an ongoing exercise in the upgrading and expansion of climate monitoring and data rescue activities to strengthen the provision of hydro-meteorological and climate services for climate resilience development in Ethiopia. It follows an initial project that was launched through assistance from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Climate Policy Centre in 2013 (ECA/ACPC). 

The current project is aligned with most national development strategies in Ethiopia, including the Climate Resilience and Green Economy Strategy. Ethiopia’s National Economic Development Plan acknowledges that climate change will impact negatively on the country’s economy and hinder the prospects for achieving some of the MDG targets.

The implementation of major projects in the agricultural and infrastructural sectors requires high quality climate data to achieve cost effectiveness and sustainability, which can be enhanced through the outcomes and the outputs expected from the current project.

Ethiopia’s development strategy aims at achieving rapid economic development through aggressively promoting agricultural investments and boosting industrial growth and government authorities recognize the fact that climate change is a real threat as well as an opportunity for Ethiopia, and has thus considered both adaptation and mitigation issues. The plan declares the government’s commitment to build a fully climate resilient green economy by 2025.

It is expected that with the improved service delivery system through the project, cost recovery systems will be put in place for those users who are ready to pay for the service, thereby bringing an additional source of income for the government’s budget.  The National Meteorological Agency has committed to make the necessary financial arrangements which will ensure the sustainability of the results of the project, beyond its current life cycle.

It would be recalled that Ken Johm, Coordinator for Special Initiatives in the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department at the African Development Bank (AfDB), officially launched the operational phase of CDSF during the 4th last Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA IV) held in October in Marrakech, Morocco.

For Fatima Denton, Coordinator of the African Climate Policy Centre (ECA/ACPC) and Director of Special Initiatives Division, “this fund represents a parallel track funding for countries in Africa who are keen to implement adaptation and mitigation projects and have been waiting anxiously for the ‘fast start’ finance of the Green Climate Fund to deliver on their implementation goals.”

The ClimDev Special Fund (CDSF) housed in the AfDB is a demand-led Fund that pools resources to finance investment activities on the ground across Africa for the generation and use of climate information for climate-resilient development. Grants are provided to projects in line with the ClimDev-Africa Programme’s goal, purpose and results areas and are implemented by national and regional organizations at all levels on the continent.

This Clim-Dev Africa programme is implemented under the auspices of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and intends to strengthen the policy response to climate change. The three partners in the ClimDev-Africa Programme consider climate change to be a serious threat to Africa and are engaged at the highest levels of their respective institutions in tackling it. They fear that climate change threatens to undermine all the development and progress that Africa has made so far, including in the area of poverty reduction and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.