UNDP Announces New Fund to Support Dry Zone Communities in Sri Lanka

Oct 19, 2016

18 October 2016, Colombo – The Resident Coordinator of the UN in Sri Lanka and the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, Ms. Una McCauley, today officially announced to the President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, the commencement of the new USD 38.1 million project under the Green Climate Fund. 

This announcement took place on the second day of the three-day Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Forum hosted by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment of the Government of Sri Lanka under the theme “Adapting and Living below 2°C: Bridging the Gaps in Policy & Practice.”

Earlier this year, at the 13th Board Meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the main international funding body for climate action, USD 38.1 million was approved in funding for Sri Lanka for its Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project.

Sri Lanka’s proposal, prepared by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will enable the Government to implement integrated solutions to water management. The project aims to achieve higher levels of food, livelihood and water security for communities in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka. GCF resources will therefore be invested in improving the community irrigation water infrastructure and associated agricultural practices, 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 resources will allow assistance to be provided to 770,000 people in three river basins - Malwatu Oya, Yan Oya and Mi Oya – who are vulnerable to climate change. Moreover, around 1.2 million people living in the same areas will indirectly benefit from the project. 

UNDP will work with a number of government institutions to support the Government of Sri Lanka to deliver this project, which will be implemented from 2017 to 2024.

Further to the grant from the GCF, the Government of Sri Lanka will leverage Government co-financing amounting to USD 14 million for this project to address several financial, technical, and institutional barriers related to achieving integrated water management to improve agriculture-based livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone.

In addition to Sri Lanka’s proposal, the Board approved 8 other proposals. Among these are proposals from El Salvador, Armenia, Gambia, Mali, Vietnam, Tajikistan/Uzbekistan, Tuvalu and Chile.  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.



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