Green Climate Fund supports Ethiopia’s fight against drought with $50m

The Global Climate Fund (GCF) to support Ethiopia with $50 million in its battle against climate change, which has increased the incidence of drought in the country over the years.

Approved in October 2017, Ethiopia’s GCF-backed project will be implemented over the course of five years at $50 million, $5 million of which will be co-financed by the government to provide improved water management systems to address the drought and challenges posed by climate change in the country.

According to the facility coordinator in Ethiopia’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Zerihun Getu, the total project is estimated at $150 billion. GCF, which is funded by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was established to help countries reduce national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and acclimatize to changing climate.

In 2017, more than eight million people in southeastern and southern Ethiopia needed emergency food assistance because of the worsening drought due to climate change.

Following the drought 8.5 million people were expected to need emergency food assistance, 3.6 million children, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers required supplementary feeding, 10.5 million people did not have regular access to safe drinking water and 2.25 million households required livestock support. An estimate of 376,000 children were expected to become severely malnourished.

With Ethiopia’s population (more than 102 million) and economic growth projections, the country’s level of emission is expected to grow from 150 million tonnes in 2010 to 450 million by 2030. However, the country plans to cut 64 percent of its emissions before 2030, build a climate resilient and middle-income economy which has been challenged in the past three years by El Niño.

The $50 million funding by the GCF will go towards a three-pronged approach. Solar-powered water pumping and small-scale irrigation, the rehabilitation and management of degraded lands around the water sources and creating an enabling environment by raising awareness and improving local capacity.