GCF funding agreement with Namibia first under new simplified approach

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A recently signed implementation agreement opens up Green Climate Fund (GCF) finances to boost the climate resilience of Namibian farmers in GCF’s first project approved under its Simplified Approval Process (SAP).
Namibian Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said during the signing of the Funded Activity Agreement on Wednesday the project will improve the resilience of vulnerable communities living in the driest area of sub-Saharan Africa.
The agreement opens the door for GCF funds to help smallholder farmers, mostly women, to improve water management in north-west Namibia – an area, climate predictions warn, faces increasingly dry conditions.
“Above addressing the plight of the most vulnerable communities in Namibia, this project will also assist us to strengthen our disaster risk management and early warning systems,” added Ms Kuugongelwa-Amadhila. “It is therefore coming at an opportune time when Namibia needs these resources,” she said.
Andreas Biermann, speaking for the GCF, said the signing is a milestone as it marks the start of the implementation of GCF’s first SAP project. GCF introduced SAP last year to streamline the approval of small-scale projects. The SAP is ideally positioned to tackle the urgent climate needs of rural vulnerable communities as it provides efficient access to GCF financing, which is a key factor for transformational adaptation projects in Africa. To date, GCF has approved four SAP projects, amid a strong pipeline of future SAPs.
“It is great to see the hard work with local communities by Namibia’s Environmental Investment Fund bearing fruit to address the climate risks already being faced by Namibians,” said Mr Biermann. “EIF, Namibia’s GCF Direct Access Entity, has been a trailblazer in the way it has empowered local communities to generate climate action, pioneering direct access to the GCF.”
The Environmental Investment Fund will carry out this project over five years. The goal is to reduce the impacts of increasing temperature and higher water evaporation in an area where many local people rely on increasingly intermittent rainfall to secure their household food supplies. 
The signing took place during the international climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.