Adaptation Fund to enhance programs for the vulnerable in 2024


As the Adaptation Fund (AF) gets ready to further enhance its adaptation programs for the most vulnerable in 2024, it is an opportune moment to take stock of AF’s work in 2023 — another busy and positive year for the Fund.

The AF continues to grow, so far reaching 165 approved concrete projects on the ground in 2023, with over US$ 1.1 billion committed to improving the climate resilience of 43 million total beneficiaries in 112 countries. It is restoring over 635,000 ha of natural habitat and 164,000 meters of coastlines while creating 526 early warning systems at local, country and regional levels.

Nearly half of AF’s projects are in least developed countries or small island developing states, and many projects represent the first adaptation actions in countries — creating scalable models that can multiply their impacts in more areas. AF also continues to build country capacities and ownership through its pioneering Direct Access (DA) and Enhanced DA modalities.

Record demand for adaptation projects was also apparent throughout 2023. In fact, the year 2024 began with confirmation from a report from Copernicus, the EU’s earth observation program which periodically gathers detailed information on climate change, that 2023 was the hottest on record by significant margins — including .60°C above 1991-2020 mean averages and 1.48°C above 1850-1900 pre-industrial averages. The large margin by which the previous record was surpassed provides indisputable testimony of how much warmer and riskier today’s climate is and adds further to the urgency of investments in adaptation funding highlighted by a UNEP adaptation gap report released in 2023 — which estimated adaptation finance needs of developing countries to be 10-18 times larger than what is provided by international public finance. The AF’s own active pipeline of projects under development reflects such increasing needs as it grew to US$ 425 million during 2023.