Representatives from Least Developed Countries (LDCs), grassroots community organisations and climate action leaders came together to explore collaboration opportunities at a side event on financing urgent ambition at the first-ever London Climate Action Week in early July 2019. The Adaptation Fund participated, highlighting the role of the Fund in supporting the most vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change.

LDCs and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face significant challenges when it comes to accessing climate finance. Despite being on the frontlines of the climate emergency, LDCs receive only 18% of international public climate finance and negligible private investment. Panellists from LDCs at the side event cited the long and cumbersome accreditation process of international climate funds as being a key blockage, as well as the lack of local expertise to develop bankable projects.

Lucy Sendi, Senior Climate Change Advisor to the Department of Economic and Productive Sectors in the Tanzanian government, drew attention to the fact that most African countries are accredited for small or micro size projects of less than $50 million, leaving a significant financing gap. She highlighted a successful pilot project currently being implemented in Tanzania that is decentralizing climate finance by providing money directly to communities that need it the most.

Mr Farayi Madziwa, Readiness Program Officer for the Adaptation Fund (AF), responded to these inputs by providing an overview of the AF’s mechanisms and grants that are all based on country needs and priorities. The Fund has a number of strengths that make it easier for developing countries to access adaptation finance, including:

  • A direct access modality that enables National Implementing Entities (NIEs) to directly access financing from the AF and manage all stages of the project life cycle.
  • Enhanced direct access goes a step further by giving more control over decision-making to the funding recipients e.g. the Small Grants Facility in South Africa.
  • A readiness programme that supports NIEs to receive and manage adaptation financing.
  • Innovation grants to encourage and accelerate innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies led by developing countries.
  • Project scale up grants to enable existing projects under the AF to be scaled up via other funds, for example the Green Climate Fund.

In addition, the Adaptation Fund highly regards the transfer of knowledge and learning between entities and with climate change stakeholders, as evidenced by its facilitation of country exchanges and community of practice meetings.

Watch the recording of the side event here:


Image credit: Axel Fassio/CIFOR