Least developed countries (LDCs) are the most vulnerable to climate change, yet the least able to adapt. In many cases, they lack the technical, financial and institutional capacity to identify the best ways to build resilience.
That’s why 194 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) decided to establish the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) in 2001. The fund, managed by the GEF, supports the world’s most vulnerable countries in their efforts to adapt to the effects of climate change. Read more+
The LDCF was designed to address the special needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) under the UNFCCC. As part of its mandate, it helps countries prepare and implement National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs). NAPAs are country-driven strategies that identify the most immediate needs of LDCs to adapt to climate change. Target sectors include water; agriculture and food security; health; disaster risk management and prevention; infrastructure; and fragile ecosystems. The LDCF focuses on reducing the vulnerability of key sectors identified through the NAPA process, financing on-the-ground adaptation activities that provide concrete results in support of vulnerable communities.
What We Do
With around US$1.2 billion of voluntary contributions from donors, the LDCF holds the largest portfolio of adaptation projects in the Least Developed Countries. But the needs are growing. A 2009 study suggested at least US$2 billion was required to meet the immediate and urgent needs of LDCs. More recently, a report suggested that Bangladesh alone would need an initial injection of about US$2.4 billion for early warning systems, afforestation and other tactics to adapt to extreme weather; the country would need another US$50 million annually to maintain adaptation. Read more+
LDCF projects cut across a variety of themes and geographies.
- In Malawi, projects are supporting practical community-level adaptation actions that improve resilience of the agriculture sector, while boosting community economic development.
- In Niger, land degradation, water scarcity and at-risk livestock pose a deadly threat to rural communities. The LDCF supports distribution of drought-resilient crop seeds, and locally appropriate water-harvesting techniques.
- In the small island state of Samoa, automated weather stations, crop suitability maps and other tools help increase food and water security. At the same time, they reduce damage from weather-related disasters.
By 2017, the Fund had approved around US$1.2 billion for the funding of projects and programs in 51 countries, leveraging more than US$4.8 billion in financing from partners. Read more+
The GEF in Action: More Specific Weather Forecasts for Malawian Farmers
In Malawi, more frequent and intense floods, droughts, strong winds and other kinds of extreme weather are playing havoc with the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. There are weather forecasts, but they are too general to help farmers know what and when to plant. Through a GEF adaptation project, new weather stations will deliver accurate and precise information, helping farmers build resilience against the impact of climate change. Apart from daily radio and television forecasts, village committees receive text messages on weather conditions, which they share with local farmers. Ultimately, more than 5 million people in 11 districts will benefit from the project.