The Africa Climate Change Fund has approved a project proposal for a total of USD997, 524 to support Benin and Lesotho to access international climate finance, an initiative underpinned by evidence that adaptation to climate change must start locally.
While local responses can create opportunities for innovative solutions, most local governments in least developed countries lack the institutional, technical and financial capacities to contribute to building resilience.
Benin and Lesotho are two African countries which face institutional, technical and financial capacities challenges and need more local-level investments to undertake measures to enhance water retention, promote more resilient farming and irrigation methods and climate-proof existing infrastructure such as water wells, bridges and rural roads.
The project proposal approved in September has been designed with the goal to improve the climate resilience of communities, and local economies by increasing investments in climate change adaptation in target areas.
â€œSpecifically, the project seeks to support development of high quality, bankable projects aligned with African countriesâ€™ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), identification and strengthening of national institutions and stakeholders to access the green climate fund and the smallâ€“scale or pilot adaptation initiatives targeting vulnerable communities,â€ the African Development Bank revealed in a statement.
The Bank indicated that on completion, the project would increase local governmentsâ€™ access to climate finance to implement climate change adaptation investments in Benin and Lesotho, through internationally recognized mechanisms.
â€œThe project will be implemented by the United Nations Capital Development through its local climate adaptive living facility (LoCAL) programme,â€ the bank said.
Naida Mohamed, ACCF Coordinator, said the approval was an opportunity to expand the ACCFâ€™s geographic reach and field of intervention and is in line with the Fundâ€™s overall goal to address climate change challenges facing the African continent.
The ACCF is an enabler fund which creates institutional capacity for recipient countries or institutions to access climate finance.
â€œThis project aligns with the African Development Bankâ€™s Strategy 2013-2022 and Climate Change Action plan 2011-2015 and demonstrates how ACCF finance helps Regional Member Countries find funding through domestic or externalsources towards enabling their transition to climate resilient, low-carbon development.
In 2017, the Climate Finance from developed countries to fund climate action in developing countries reached USD71.2 billion including some USD15 billion of mobilised private finance, according to the organisation for economic cooperation and development.
This according to the organization remained some way off the USD100 billion a year by 2020 promised at the COP 15 in 2009.
â€œMeeting this commitment is critical and targeting and using that money effectively and efficiently will maximize its impact, and there are some issued to consider there,â€ the organisation pointed out.