Partner agreements after Board meeting sign of faster GCF financing

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By Anyway Yotamu

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has signed agreements with is partners to implement four new climate initiatives only days after they were approved by the GCF Board.

The projects to strengthen climate action in Liberia, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Congo were given the green light during the GCF Board’s first meeting of the year, which concluded on 20 March. While the GCF Board approves projects, legally-binding Funded Activity Agreements (FAAs) are necessary to set the parameters of implementation, reporting, disbursement and budgeting for each individual GCF climate initiative.

As GCF continues to streamline its implementation of climate action in developing countries, it has been paring back the time taken from approval to rolling out projects on the ground.

“One of our objectives of the past two years has been to make sure we don’t end up having to negotiate financial transfer agreements for six months or 12 months after our projects’ approval,” noted GCF Executive Director Yannick Glemarec during a recent online ceremony marking the four FAA signings.

The Executive Director added that the recent GCF Board meeting, its 28th, had also set a milestone in terms of project approval. “Our Board last week approved USD 7.5 billion for 15 projects,” he said. “It was our largest project approval ever for GCF, USD 1.2 billion, and also in co-financing, USD 6.3 billion.”

Two of the four projects which now move closer to implementation are based on collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). They will

enhance the climate resilience of vulnerable coastal communities in Liberia’s capital of Monrovia through environmental protection measures and diversified climate-resilient livelihoods.

Develop a multi-hazard early warning system in Uzbekistan which will initially address floods, mudflows, landslides, avalanches and drought in the country’s most populous and economically important eastern mountainous regions.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said his organisation is delighted with these new agreements for the two vital projects in Liberia and Uzbekistan. “Both initiatives represent outstanding opportunities to deliver urgent climate action in a way that is determined to leave no one behind,” he added. “These projects will have a transformational impact on the lives and livelihoods of communities living on the frontline of climate change.”

The two other projects are being implemented in partnership with the the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). They will

Strengthen the climate resilience of agriculture in Jordan, including through the training of nearly 4,000 “climate wise” women to become champions of improved water management.

Promote the sustainable forest management of forests in southern Congo, including COVID-19 recovery measures that create new green jobs, in GCF’s first project in this country.

FAO Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol said: “These projects have enormous potential to ensure greater food and water security in both the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Republic of the Congo. FAO welcomes this historic opportunity to foster new partnerships and to scale up collective action in the race to build climate resilience.”

Two government ministers also joined the signing ceremony. They were Jordan’s Minister for Environment Nabil Masarweh and Congo’s Minister of Forest Economy Rosalie Matondo.

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