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Climate finance fundamentals 7: Sub-Saharan Africa (2017 update)


Written by Charlene Watson, Neil Bird


This series of short, introductory briefings are designed for readers new to the debate on global climate change financing. In light of the fast pace of developments in climate finance, the briefs provide a better understanding of the quantity and quality of financial flows going to developing countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region least responsible for global climate change and most vulnerable to its impacts. A multitude of actors are involved in directing climate finance to the region, both to support low-carbon development and to help countries adapt to the severe impacts that are already being felt. The Least Developed Countries Fund and the World Bank administered Clean Technology Fund are the biggest cumulative multilateral climate funds active in the region, but the Green Climate Fund approved the most new funding in 2017 (for the second year in a row).

For those funds tracked, Climate Funds Update (CFU) data indicates that USD 3.6 billion has been approved for 506 projects and programmes throughout Sub-Saharan Africa since 2003. Almost half of the approved funding from these multilateral climate funds has been provided for adaptation measures. Grant financing continues to play a crucial role, especially for adaptation actions, in ensuring that climate actions secure multiple gender-responsive benefits for the most vulnerable countries and population groups.

Neil Bird, Charlene Watson, Liane Schalatek, Katharina Keil