Climate change projects in poorest nations lose out in battle for funds
By Megan Rowling
BARCELONA, June 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Urgent plans to help the world's poorest people become more resilient to extreme weather and rising seas are on hold because of a lack of cash in a U.N. climate fund set up for least developed countries, amid fierce competition for limited aid.
Projects awaiting support include helping government officials in Bangladesh and Rwanda work out how to adapt to the growing impacts of climate change, and keeping health facilities safe from storms and tidal surges in Pacific Island nations.
Other schemes would provide climate risk insurance to small farmers in Burkina Faso, and set up systems to warn Afghans of flash floods and landslides.
The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which backs initiatives to adjust to climate shifts in around 50 poor nations, now has 29 projects that have been cleared but are in need of $215 million to put them into practice.
Government officials and climate experts say no donors offered new money for the fund at an early June council meeting of the Global Environment Facility, which administers the fund.
"We have started implementing very important adaptation programmes and projects ... and we don't want to lose that momentum," Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia's environment minister, told reporters at U.N. climate talks in Bonn last week.
The LDCF was established in 2001 under the U.N. climate convention to meet the special needs of the poorest countries in preparing and implementing national adaptation programmes.
As of April 2015, the fund had provided nearly $906 million to 49 countries for 161 projects. But its resources have run out. Continuación...