The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the main international funding body for climate action, has US$38.1 million in funding for Sri Lanka to help smallholder famers in the dry zone cope with climate change.
Sri Lanka’s proposal for the funds was prepared by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It will enable the government to implement integrated solutions to water management, a UNDP statement said.
The funds from GCF, which is accountable to the United Nations, will be invested in improving the community irrigation water infrastructure and associated agricultural practices.
This includes scaling-up decentralized drinking water systems and strengthening early warning, forecasting and water management systems to enhance the livelihood and resilience of smallholder farmers, particularly women, from climate related impacts.
“The project aims to achieve higher levels of food, livelihood and water security for communities in the dry zone of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.
This is first time that Sri Lanka has received funding from the Green Climate Fund. The funds will help 910,000 people in three river basins – Malwatu Oya, Yan Oya and Mi Oya – who are vulnerable to climate change.
Around 712,000 people living in the same areas will indirectly benefit from the project which will be implemented from 2017 to 2024.
The government of Sri Lanka will provide government co-financing amounting to US$14 million for the project to address several financial, technical, and institutional barriers.
These relate to achieving integrated water management to improve agriculture-based livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the dry zone.
The USD 38.1million fund to Sri Lanka, unanimously approved by the GCF Board, is the first time that Sri Lanka has received funding from the Green Climate Fund.