Posted on 01 August 2023
Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, 11 July 2023: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has announced USD 66 million in funding to support the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to reduce the twin climate impacts of flooding and drought. The investment will improve the resilience of some of the country’s most vulnerable communities affected by the impacts of climate change, including catastrophic flooding.
The new 7-year project, ‘Recharge Pakistan: Building Pakistan’s Resilience to Climate Change through Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Integrated Flood Risk Management’, is the largest investment at the national level to date in an ecosystem-based approach to flood and water resources management.
A collaboration between the Government of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) under the Ministry of Water Resources, and WWF-Pakistan; the project will demonstrate the effectiveness of ecosystem-based adaptation and green infrastructure as an innovative addition to the nation’s traditional grey infrastructure solutions to flood and drought. This will be achieved through restoration and reforestation of forests and wetlands; rehabilitation of water flow paths and channels; development ofrecharge basins and retention areas; and strengthening the climate resilience of local businesses in the agriculture and forests sectors.
In addition to the GCF funding, the project is supported through a collective USD 12 million investment and technical support from The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Coca-Cola Foundation and WWF-Pakistan.
Collectively, the project’s interventions will directly benefit over 600,000 people and will indirectly benefit close to 7,000,000 people.
Speaking about the announcement, President WWF International Dr Adil Najam stated "The floods of 2022 were yet another stark reminder of climate change's impacts on Pakistan. Initiatives like Recharge Pakistan are the need of the hour to rehabilitate the Indus Basin, Pakistan's lifeline. Through ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions, this collaboration will help restore the basin's health, enhance resilience, and safeguard the most vulnerable communities. Today, we are one vital step closer to building climate resilience, protecting biodiversity, and securing a sustainable future for Pakistan."
Director General WWF-Pakistan, Hammad Naqi Khan added, “A focus on green infrastructure and ecosystem-based adaptation is crucial, especially for a country like Pakistan, where the impacts of climate change are manifesting with increasing frequency and severity and deepening the economic crisis. On behalf of my team, I am thankful to the GCF for their trust and acknowledgment, and would like to thank Minister Sherry Rehman for her support in seeing this through. Under her leadership, the Ministry of Climate Change took all possible measures to secure this critical funding. I am confident that in collaboration with our capable partners, we will deliver the impact expected from this critical and far-reaching undertaking.”
Announcing the news on social media, Minister Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman stated, “We worked very hard to convert this GCF funding from loan to grant. After the 2022 megaflood our view was that Pakistan needs grant based climate financing, and are grateful to the GCF for accepting our advice. Rigorous design implementation involved months of consultations with all the provinces. After this stage, implementation now lies with them as the executing partners.”