Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)


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The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established at the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP 7) held in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2001. It became operational in 2002. The LDCF was established to address the adaptation needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) which are vulnerable to climate change. As a

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF)[1] administers the LDCF. Generally, the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund supports the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and serves as a financial mechanism of the UNFCCC. The World Bank acts as the financial trustee of the GEF. The LDCF is governed by a Council comprising of 32 GEF members; 14 members from donor constituencies and 18 from recipient constituencies.

The cumulative pledges to the Fund amounted to USD 1.19 billion and the LDCF approved around  USD 1 billion, leveraging almost USD 4 billion in financing from the partners. The Fund has enabled 49 of the world’s most vulnerable countries to access resources for their NAPA preparation. As of 2015, the Fund supported 140 projects and programs in 46 LDCs, which is the largest portfolio of adaptation projects of its kind. The COP, at its eleventh session (COP11), agreed on provisions to operationalise the LDCF to support the implementation of NAPAs, providing guidance with regards to priority areas, and provisions on full-cost funding and a co-financing scale.

Eligibility to Receive Funding

A country is eligible to receive GEF grants provided that it is also eligible to borrow from the World Bank. Eligible countries need to appoint a national focal point.

Regional Focus The LDCF does not have a regional focus. All LDCs are eligible. In Asia, the LDCF that has been disbursed so far is USD 34 million to Bangladesh, USD 4.9 million to Nepal and USD 4.5 million to Bhutan for implementing climate related projects.

Sector Focus

The LDCF finances the preparation and implementation of NAPAs, to address immediate and urgent adaptation needs in LDCs. The LDCF plays a role in vulnerability reduction in areas that are crucial for development and livelihoods. This includes sectors of, agriculture and food security, water, health, disaster risk management and prevention, infrastructure and fragile ecosystems. The NAPA implementation projects designed under the LDCF are in line with each country’s priorities. They are implemented by national stakeholders and benefit vulnerable communities.

Funding Conditions

Proposals submitted for funding are reviewed in light of agreed project criteria, under the guidance of the COP. These criteria include; country ownership, program and policy conformity, financing, institutional coordination and support, and monitoring and evaluation.

Application Procedure

In a first step, the LDC develops the concept for a project as a Project Identification Form (PIF), with the assistance of one of the GEF agencies. For NAPA preparations, this would involve an initial scoping of existing activities and awarenessraising amongst key stakeholders. The PIF may be supported with a small preparation grant.

In a next step, the PIF is submitted to the GEF for approval by the LDCF Council, and can be accompanied by a request for a project preparation grant (PPG). Once the PIF is approved, the country embarks on the development of a full project document, and PPG funding is provided to the country if requested. Once completed, the full project document is submitted to the GEF for endorsement, to finally trigger the disbursement of the requested support to the country for the full project implementation. In some cases, a country may combine the PIF and PPG stages.

The project can be a Medium-Sized Project (MSP) if the total cost from the LDCF is less than or equal to USD 2 million or can be a Full-Sized project (FSP). The FSP undergoes a full review process under the LDCF Council, thus, it takes longer to process the project application in comparison to a MSP. The latter is directly

approved and endorsed by the GEF CEO. A complete description of the GEF modalities for accessing the LDCF is contained in Operational Guidelines for the Least

Developed Countries Fund.


GEF Secretariat

1818 H Street, NW, Mail Stop P4-400

Washington, DC 20433, USA Tel: +1 202 473-0508

Email: secretariat@thegef.org

Website: http://www.thegef.org/

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