$1 billion of new funding announced for climate adaptation projects

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is providing a fresh injection of $1 billion to combat climate change in poor countries.

The funding will go directly towards 23 projects to help developing countries fight back against the rising tide of climate change impacts.

“We have had a highly positive week, approving over $1 billion in projects, which is a record amount in a single Board meeting” stated Paul Oquist, Green Climate Fund’s Co-Chair.

The GCF was set up in 2010 by the United Nations with the aim of supporting developing countries adapt to climate change. It has an aim of raising $100 billion by 2020 with both public and private sectors making contributions.

One of the projects being taken forward by the announcement is a scheme in Zambia to help one million farmers. The $32 million of GCF funding is being matched by $125 million from the UN Development Programme and the Zambian Government.

The scheme is designed to help farmers plan for climate risks, adopt new sustainable practices, and diversify production towards crops more resilient to extreme weather.

The project will be rolled out in 16 districts across the country and is expected to indirectly benefit 3 million people, or 18 percent of the total population. The ultimate plan is to help farmers become more food secure and gain access to new markets. It is hoped that projects which focus on climate-resilient crops will grow the market for these commodities in countries heavily dependent on agriculture.

“Farmers living in these districts are especially vulnerable to climate change risks, primarily increasing droughts, variability of rainfall and occasional floods. There is a high rate of poverty, meaning efforts to end hunger and poverty are at risk if we don’t take immediate action to adapt agricultural practices to changing climate conditions,” said Chola Chabala, a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Finance.

A total of six projects in Africa have been approved funding by the GCF; seven in South America and nine in Asia. The Marshall Islands was the only Pacific country to receive support.

“The GCF is ready to shift gear in supporting developing countries to achieve their climate goals. The projects adopted here will make a real impact in the face of climate challenges” Oquist added.

 Photo Credit: Sean Pollock

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