The Hague round table: ‘The more fragile a country is, the less climate finance it gets’

<strong>The Hague round table: ‘The more fragile a country is, the less climate finance it gets’</strong>
8 March 2023

By the Climate Centre

This year’s round table on climate and security in The Hague yesterday covered the growing challenge of getting climate finance through to fragile and conflict-affected states that are disproportionately vulnerable.

Hosted by Mercy Corps Netherlands in partnership with Fanack Water, it focused on the proposition that “the more fragile a country is, the less climate finance, including for adaptation and resilience, it has historically received,” organizers said.

They quoted one study as saying that “extremely fragile states” averaged just over two US dollars per person in adaptation financing, compared to US$ 162 for non-fragile states.

Challenges include “a low appetite and tolerance for risk [on the part of donors], stringent funding requirements, inflexible operational protocols, and difficulties of monitoring progress and measuring outcomes,” they added.

Drought in Somalia and recent floods in Nigeria are examples of communities living in vulnerable contexts that are also often at the forefront of climate change, and thus facing its most severe impacts.

They demonstrate “the devastating effects of increased unpredictability of weather patterns, and in particular the role of [water, where] communities’ resilience to adapt to increased hazards becomes paramount, and yet funding is often unable to reach those living in the most vulnerable areas.”

Detailed studies

A Mercy Corps report updated in January said this year nearly 800 million people live in 17 conflict-affected states, and more than 170 million live in the 20 more states with “high social and institutional fragility”.

Eighteen out of 25 countries with the least capacity to cope with climate impacts were fragile and conflict-affected states.

The ICRC and IFRC last year issued detailed studies centred on the urgent need to get climate finance through to conflict-affected and generally vulnerable countries respectively.

Tuesday’s round table aimed to “facilitate the exchange of experiences and identification of solutions to channel climate finance to fragile states”.

It included the Climate Centre’s Acting Director, Carina Bachofen, and specialist researcher Juliane Schillinger.

Outputs from Tuesday’s round table (photo), which was held at The Hague Humanity Hub, are expected to include joint recommendations to inform programmes to enhance climate finance in fragile and conflict-affected states, as well as for the UN 2023 conference on water. (Photo: Mercy Corps NL)