Least Developed Countries Fund

Least Developed Countries Fund


The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) was established to meet the adaptation needs of least developed countries (LDCs). Specifically the LDCF has financed the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs) to identify priority adaptation actions for a country based on existing information.

The Least Developed Countries Fund is administered by the Global Environment Facility.

Basic Description

Name of Fund Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)
Official Fund Website http://www.thegef.org/gef/ldcf
Date Created Date fund proposed: 2001
Date fund made operational: 2002
Proposed Life of Fund Unspecified
Administrating Organisation Global Environment Facility (GEF) with World Bank as Trustee.
Objectives The LDCF aims to address the needs of the 48 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 Programs of Action (NAPAs), which are country-driven strategies that identify the immediate needs of LDCs in order to adapt to climate change.
Activities Supported The LDCF supports the preparation of NAPAs wherein supports 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.
Conditions and Eligibility Requirements All Least Developed Countries are eligible. However, proposals submitted for funding under the LDCF are reviewed in light of agreed project criteria informed by guidance from the UNFCCC COP. These criteria include country ownership; program and policy conformity; financing; institutional coordination and support; and monitoring and evaluation: these are understood as follows:

  1. Country ownership in that proposed projects must have been identified as priority activities in the NAPA and show evidence of stakeholder consultation and support.
  2. Program and policy conformity in terms of project design; sustainability, and stakeholder involvement.
  3. A Financing plan must be developed, together with an assessment of cost-effectiveness.
  4. Institutional coordination and support
  5. Monitoring and evaluation
Accessing the Fund Before a LDCF Project Proponent can access financing for an adaptation project, a country NAPA must be completed and sent to the UNFCCC Secretariat. Once a NAPA has been submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat, the LDCF Project Proponent can start the process of preparing for project implementation under the LDCF. A number of tools have been developed to help countries to access LDCF funding.

Fund Governance

Decision Making Structure The SCCF/ LDCF Council is the governing body for the LDCF. The Council is comprised 14 members from donor constituencies and 18 from recipient constituencies (a total of 32 GEF members) and makes decisions by consensus. The LDCF uses the operating procedures of the GEF, including its implementing agencies.Finance is available for project preparation. Full Size projects must be cleared by the CEO of the GEF before they are formally approved by the Council at which point funding is earmarked for their support. Projects are only considered to be approved after a Project Identification Form that shows that the project meets certain criteria has been produced and then approved by the council. It then needs to be endorsed by the CEO before funding can be said to have been approved (although nearly 100 % of council approved projects are also endorsed by the CEO). Implementing agencies then also have to approve projects through their internal decision making processes. Finance is disbursed to approved projects under implementation.
Non-Government Stakeholder Participation 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 local stakeholder involvement.
Information Disclosure A Financial Status Report includes information on the progress of donor contributions. The web based GEF project tool includes LDCF projects. Disbursement is also reported on a bi-annual basis in the status report on the least developed countries fund and the special climate change fund.
Issues Raised 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.

Relationship with Official Development Assistance

Inclusion as Official Development Assistance  Yes.
Financial Instrument/ Delivery Mechanism Used (e.g. grant, loan)  Grants.
Nature of Recipient Country Involvement National ownership is quite central to the conceptualisation of the LDCF which places a strong emphasis on stakeholder engagement in the development of the NAPA and on country driven approaches to identifying priorities. A project has to be endorsed by the country or countries where it will be implemented to be considered to receive GEF funding.