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Accessing GEF Funding

GEF support is provided to government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector companies, research institutions, among the broad diversity of potential partners, to implement projects and programs in recipient countries.

The possibilities to access GEF funding are multiple. The following are the key steps that should be taken to submit a project proposal:

  1. Contact the Operational Focal Point (OFP) in the country. The Operational Focal Point (OFP) is responsible for the review and endorsement of projects to ensure consistency with national priorities. Thus, the initial idea should be first discussed with him/her. The OFP is also responsible for facilitating and coordinating all the GEF-related activities within the country. He/she often organizes and coordinates National Portfolio Formulation Exercises, national consultations and other processes for the programming of the portfolio of GEF projects. The different project ideas for GEF financing are discussed, prioritized, and consolidated through these multi-stakeholder processes.

    In addition, the OFP can guide the project proponent in avoiding duplication of activities, in case a similar project has already been funded. Check out the Country Profile page to access the list of all GEF-funded projects in a country, including an overview of the country’s allocation and utilization. 

  2. Meet the eligibility criteria. For a project or program to be considered for GEF-funding, it must fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
    1. It has to be undertaken in an eligible country.  Countries may be eligible for GEF funding in one of two ways: a) if the country has ratified the Conventions the GEF serves; or b) if the county is eligible to borrow funds from the World Bank or to receive technical assistance from UNDP.
    2. It has to be country-driven and consistent with national priorities. All GEF projects should be based on national priorities designed to support sustainable development.
    3. It has to address one or more of the GEF focal area strategies.
    4. It has to seek GEF financing only for the agreed-on incremental costs on measures to achieve global environmental benefits.
    5. It has to be endorsed by the Operational Focal Point of the country in which the project or program will be implemented. For regional projects and programs, the endorsement of the Operational Focal Points of all participating countries is required. For global projects, an endorsement letter is not required.
    6. It must involve the public in project design and implementation, following the Policy on Public Involvement in GEF-Financed Projects and the respective guidelines.
  3. Choose a GEF Agency. The GEF Agency is responsible for the development and implementation of projects and programs. This means that the GEF Agency will be the proponent’s partner at all stages of the project. The choice on the Agency should be based on its respective comparative advantages as stated in the document Comparative Advantages of the GEF Agencies Corrigendum.
  4. Select a type of modality. The GEF provides funding through four modalities: full-sized projects, medium-sized projects, enabling activities and programs. The project proponent should select the one that better fits the idea to be developed into a proposal. Depending on the type of modality selected, different templates have to be completed describing the project proposal for its review and approval.
  5. Civil Society Organizations have the opportunity to apply for GEF grants through the Small Grants Programme.