Urgent and immediate, but not worth funding?

It’s hard to believe but, yes, it’s been nearly 15 years since Parties set up the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) to support LDCs in identifying “urgent and immediate” adaptation projects by preparing National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Yes, that’s the same fund that the Global Environment Facility (GEF) managed with voluntary contributions from developed countries.

Here’s the good part of this story: all 48 LDCs have completed their NAPAs and most have started implementing priority adaptation projects with LDCF funding. So far the LDCF has received nearly 900 million USD. However, during last week’s GEF Council session, it emerged that there are 29 “urgent and immediate” projects approved and ready to be implemented that require around 200 million USD in total — but there is no money left in the LDCF.

Even more concerning, there were no contributions offered for the LDCF during this session.  Maybe it was just an “oversight” by developed countries, so ECO trusts the money for these urgent and immediate adaptation projects will be forthcoming soon.

While the LDCF is busy fulfilling its mandate to fund urgent LDC adaptation actions, let’s not forget that there are various options to address further adaptation funding for LDCs in the future. One option is to make the LDCF a vehicle for delivering continued adaptation funding to the 48 LDCs, with the Green Climate Fund (GCF) channeling adaptation funding to link the two processes.

Another option is to establish an LDC adaptation funding track directly under the GCF. However, such a track would have to be carefully protected from other demands. Alternatively, other GCF provisions could be put in place to ensure sufficient adaptation funding for LDCs. These ongoing discussions are critical – but for now the LDCF needs continued support and new pledges from rich countries so it can continue its current mandate to help those that need it most.