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Embracing discomfort: a call to enable finance for climate-change adaptation in conflict settings

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Yue Cao, Adriana Quevedo, Namita Khatri, Amir Khouzam

Hero image description: Floods create fresh catastrophe for South Sudan on its difficult journey from war to peace Image credit:Floods create fresh catastrophe for South Sudan on its difficult journey from war to peace. Credit: Francesca Mold/UNMISS Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

People living in places affected by conflict are among the world’s most vulnerable and least ready to adapt to an increasingly unpredictable and extreme climate. Yet they remain largely excluded from accessing finance for climate adaptation. Urgent action is therefore needed to remedy this situation.

The recommendations in this paper build on existing work to identify obstacles on climate action in conflict settings, including discussions convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Bank. They were formulated on the basis of consultations with government officials; humanitarian, peacebuilding and development organizations; international financial institutions; operating entities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) financial mechanism (the climate funds); and independent researchers and experts in the fields of climate finance and adaptation.

This paper has been issued by seven co-signatory organisations – International Committee of the Red Cross, International Council of Voluntary Agencies, MercyCorps, ODI, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and World Food Programme.

We invite interested organisations to endorse and use the recommendations in their own work. For more information, please contact Yue Cao ([email protected]) and Adriana Quevedo ([email protected]).

Implementing these recommendations means making changes that venture into unfamiliar territory, politically and technically. It will therefore require strong political will, a shift from the comfort zone of the status quo. What is required now, to fulfil the commitment to leave no one behind, is to embrace discomfort in framing, processing and allocating climate finance.