The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established at the 7th Conference of the Parties in 2001 (COP7) to meet the adaptation needs of least developed countries (LDCs). Specifically, the LDCF has financed the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) to identify priority adaptation actions for a country based on existing information. LDCF is active in sectors including water, agriculture and food security, health, disaster risk management and prevention, infrastructure and fragile ecosystems and has the largest portfolio adaptation projects of its kind. The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) administers the LDCF as a specialised trust fund and serves as a basis for programming resources.
|Name of the Fund||Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)|
|Official Fund Website||http://www.thegef.org/gef/ldcf|
|Proposed Life of Fund||Undetermined.|
|Objectives||The LDCF aims to address the needs of the 51 LDCs which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. As a priority, the LDCF supports the preparation and the implementation of the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), which are country-driven strategies that identify the immediate needs of LDCs in order to adapt to climate change.
The three main objectives are:
|Financial inputs and fund size||As of November 2020, the cumulative pledges to the Fund amount to USD 1.6 billion.
The contributing countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
The contributions from donor countries are included as official development assistance (ODA).
|Activities Supported||The LDCF supports the preparation of NAPAs which require LDCs to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change. It can also fund NAPA implementation, including the design, development, and implementation of projects on the ground.
The LDCF targets sectors that are central to livelihoods and national development such as water, agriculture and food security, health, disaster risk management and prevention and infrastructure. As of November 2020, about 50 percent of LDCF projects have contributed to land degradation reduction and biodiversity management.
|Secretariat or Administrative Unit||LDCF is administered by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The GEF Secretariat is based in Washington D.C. and is led by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-Chairperson, who is appointed for a four-year term by the GEF Council. The Secretariat has a staff of approximately 75 professionals and is divided into three administrative units: the Programs Unit, the Policy, Partnerships, and Operations Unit and the Front Office (http://www.thegef.org/staff).
The Secretariat’s responsibilities include:
The Secretariat reports directly to the GEF Assembly and Council.
|Trustee||The World Bank is the permanent trustee.|
Fund Finance and Access Modalities
|Conditions and Eligibility Requirements||Eligibility is not restricted to ODA eligible countries. All Least Developed Countries that are part of the UNFCCC are eligible.
The list of eligible countries can be found at: https://unfccc.int/topics/resilience/workstreams/national-adaptation-programmes-of-action/ldc-country-information
|Accessing the Fund||
|Safeguards, Gender and Indigenous Peoples||
|Decision Making Structure||As a specialised trust fund, the LDCF falls under the governance structure of the GEF. The GEF governance structure is composed of the Assembly, the Council, the Secretariat, 18 Agencies and a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel.
Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)
|Accountability Mechanisms||Independent Evaluation Office
LDCF impact and effectiveness is evaluated by the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). This office is headed by a Director responsible for coordinating a team of specialized evaluators. The Director is appointed by and reports directly to the Council. Further information can be found on the GEF IEO website.
A joint independent evaluation of the LDCF was completed in 2011. It highlighted the problems caused by a lack of predictable finance for the LDCF and its low levels of capitalisation. It further highlighted the need for streamlined project cycles and to make the fund easier to access. More generally, the actual inclusiveness and effectiveness of the NAPA process has been the topic of substantial critique and debate.
|Participation of Observers and Stakeholders||GEF presents itself as a country driven organisation that was “founded on the principles of collaboration and partnership”. Member countries are referred as Participants that are represented on the GEF Council by 32 Constituencies each one having a Council Member and an Alternate Council member.
In 2017, the Council approved an updated Policy on Stakeholder Engagement which sets out “the core principles and mandatory requirements for GEF agencies to meaningfully engage stakeholders in GEF programmes and projects to build on a broad base of local knowledge and expertise, and foster local engagement and ownership in support for positive global environment outcomes”. The Policy presents mandatory requirements for stakeholder engagement throughout the GEF project cycle.
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are considered key partners for identifying, executing and monitoring GEF programmes and projects. GEF encourages civil society stakeholders to comment on project proposals, comment on policies, support and monitor project implementation, participate in GEF events. In addition, sponsored CSOs can attend the Council Meetings to relay the voices of CSOs from the field and maintain engagement on policy issues. Sponsored CSOs are selected in consultation with the CSO network, Operational Focal Points, the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group and the GEF Small Grants Program.
Indigenous Peoples have their own Advisory Group. This group was established in 2012 to enhance coordination between the GEF and Indigenous Peoples. The Group’s objective is to provide “advice to the GEF Indigenous Peoples Focal Point on the operationalization and reviewing of the Principles and Guidelines for Engagement with Indigenous Peoples and to provide guidance on financing options for Indigenous Peoples”.
The Programming Paper for Funding the Implementation of NAPAs under the LDC Trust Fund further explicitly requires stakeholder consultation in the formulation of NAPAs and subsequent project implementation, which is supportive of a high level of local stakeholder involvement.
|Transparency and Information Disclosure||The GEF Policy on Access to Information sets out the principals and mandatory requirements for the public accessibility of Council Information and fully applies to the LDCF.
The Financial Status Report contains the information on the progress of donor contributions and is available with other Council documents (SCCF/LDCF Council Meetings) at: https://www.thegef.org/council-meetings
Detailed information about LDCF projects is included in the GEF project listing tool http://www.thegef.org/projects
|Other Issues Raised|