In continued support of the Adaptation Fund’s concrete and effective adaptation actions on the ground for the most vulnerable communities across the globe, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) on behalf of the State of Qatar announced a pledge of US$ 500,000 to the Fund this week.
As a new contributor to the Fund, Qatar is breaking ground in that it is the first non-Annex I Party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Annex I are mostly developing countries that are especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change) to provide financial support to the Adaptation Fund and is further the first country from the Middle East to contribute to the Fund.
Qatar’s pledge to the Fund, made through QFFD, is also the first country-level contribution overall to the Fund for the year 2021. The contribution will go towards the Fund’s global efforts to meet rising needs for adaptation finance among the most vulnerable communities in developing countries.
The Fund received record highs in new proposals for review cycles in 2019 and 2020 and has an active project pipeline of about US$ 280 million. To meet the continuous high demand, the Board decided in November 2020 to raise its annual resource mobilization target to US$ 120 million for both 2020 and 2021. In December 2020 during its virtual Contributor Dialogue to further Ambition in Adaptation Finance, the Fund raised US$ 116 million in new contributions for 2020 with pledges from Germany, Italy, Sweden and Ireland, as well as Belgium’s Walloon Regional Government and Brussels-Capital Regional Government.
The new contribution from Qatar comes fresh on the heels of those 2020 pledges, and marks an excellent start to the Fund’s resource mobilization efforts for the new year of 2021. Reflecting the growing number of diverse contributors to the Fund, Qatar also marks the 22nd government to pledge support to the Fund over the years.
Mr. Ibila Djibril, Adaptation Fund Board Chair, said “This generous new pledge to the Adaptation Fund from the State of Qatar is groundbreaking coming from the first country in the Middle East and first Non-Annex I Party to contribute to the Fund, and also sends a strong signal that global communities are sharing the urgency of climate finance needs for the most vulnerable as well as recognizing that collective efforts are necessary to tackle climate change, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This further demonstrates continued confidence in the Adaptation Fund’s ability to help developing countries adapt and build resilience to climate change with its concrete, effective adaptation projects on the ground and innovative finance mechanisms that empower countries to adapt and are making direct positive impacts in vulnerable communities.”
The contribution was made in the form of a partnership agreement between the QFFD and the Adaptation Fund.
“The partnership with the Adaptation Fund will help address and combat climate change challenges specifically related to LDCs and SIDS [and the most climate-vulnerable countries]. Such a partnership will ensure concrete adaptation activities that reduce the adverse effects of climate change facing communities, countries, and sectors. We look forward to working together towards capacity building, for preventive measures, planning, preparedness and management of disasters relating to climate change,” said H.E. Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of the Qatar Fund for Development.
The contribution will help the Adaptation Fund further finance the most climate-vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as well as help build broader resilience amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund’s portfolio shows that half of its National Implementing Entities through its pioneering Direct Access modality that builds country ownership in adaptation are in LDCs or SIDS, reflecting its focus on the most vulnerable.
In addition to its 115 concrete adaptation projects on the ground around the world to date, the Adaptation Fund is also expanding its offerings through new grants and tools for vulnerable countries to scale up effective projects, foster innovation and share knowledge in adaptation to help address the continued urgency of climate change as well as empower local stakeholders through its strategic pillars of Action, Innovation and Learning under its Medium-Term Strategy.
“We are very pleased to see the State of Qatar step forward to deliver the first contribution from a Non-Annex I Party as well as the first from a Middle Eastern country to the Adaptation Fund,” said Mr. Mikko Ollikainen, Manager of the Adaptation Fund. “It signals the growing and diverse number of contributors to the Fund and will help further our concrete actions on the ground in the most vulnerable countries, which currently support more than nine million direct beneficiaries and 27 million total beneficiaries. It will also support our expanding grants and tools to foster scale up of effective projects, innovation and learning in adaptation to help meet the urgency of climate change, and contribute to building broader resilience amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
To boost climate action, Qatar supports global efforts to mobilize public and private climate finance for both climate change mitigation and adaptation, based on its pillar of ‘environmental development’ in its National Vision 2030. Qatar is also collaborating with the Green Climate Fund to involve the private sector in climate action, such as through institutional investors. Further, a first contribution from Qatar was recently announced to the Global Environment Facility’s Least Developed Countries Fund and that it is in the process of finalizing its participation in the GEF.