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The Loss and Harm Fund should not go away fragile states behind 

Comment: Unless the unique needs of conflict zones are prioritized, climate-vulnerable communities risk losing out on finance again Adrianna Hardaway is senior policy advisor for climate with humanitarian aid agency Mercy Corps. As the Loss and Damage Fund’s board meets this week , it is addressing key issues such as selecting a host country, how

The Loss and Harm Fund should not go away fragile states behind 

Comment: Except the distinctive wants of battle zones are prioritized, climate-vulnerable communities danger dropping out on finance once more

Adrianna Hardaway is senior coverage advisor for local weather with humanitarian support company Mercy Corps.

Because the Loss and Harm Fund’s board meets this week, it’s addressing key points equivalent to choosing a number nation, the way to disburse its monetary assets, and lobbying for extra funding from donors. Nevertheless, the agenda at the moment doesn’t tackle the challenges communities in fragile contexts will face in accessing the fund. This oversight mirrors a recurring sample in worldwide local weather talks, the place the wants and realities of fragile and conflict-affected conditions (FCS) typically obtain little to no consideration. 

FCS, as outlined by the World Financial institution, expertise excessive ranges of institutional and social fragility and violent battle. These nations, which embody Afghanistan, Mali and Niger to call just a few, typically face excessive local weather hazards and battle to manage resulting from weak establishments, poor governance, and ongoing battle.  

Collectively, fragility and local weather dangers make these international locations significantly weak to the consequences of the local weather disaster. Due to their vulnerability, fragile contexts are continuously deemed too dangerous for local weather finance investments, as venture companions discover it difficult to function and donors are involved about their return on funding.   

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Whereas the Paris Settlement prioritizes Least Developed Nations (LDCs) and Small Island Creating States (SIDS) for worldwide local weather finance, LDCs and SIDS with extra challenges like violent battle and fragility face limitations, receiving considerably much less financing than extra steady areas.  

Mercy Corps’ analysis reveals that the ten most fragile states acquired solely $223 million in local weather adaptation financing in 2021, lower than 1% of whole flows. With out prioritizing the distinctive wants of fragile contexts, the Loss and Harm Fund dangers excluding these climate-vulnerable communities as soon as once more. 

Motion wanted from the beginning

There are not any references to fragility or battle within the COP resolution that established the Loss and Harm Fund or the Governing Instrument, which units the Fund’s guidelines and practices. Moreover, there isn’t any point out of how fragile or conflict-affected locations in additional “steady” international locations will obtain financing by way of the Fund.  

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Fragility and battle can restrict how communities and establishments throughout a specific nation reply to local weather impacts. For instance, in Northern Kenya, the place Mercy Corps implements a number of local weather adaptation and meals safety applications, unpredictable rainfall impacts water assets, creating stress on pastoral livelihoods and resulting in battle over water and pasture. Comparatively weak establishments on the native authorities and group stage lack the capabilities and assets to plan and implement local weather adaptation interventions.

If the Loss and Harm Fund doesn’t tackle the way to help each fragile states and contexts like Northern Kenya now, it will likely be arduous to include these concerns later.   

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Advocating for particular challenges in fragile contexts in the course of the Fund’s preliminary setup is essential, as evidenced by Mercy Corps’ expertise with the multi-billion-dollar UN-backed Inexperienced Local weather Fund (GCF). Though the GCF has made strides to contemplate communities affected by local weather change, battle, and fragility by way of its insurance policies and applications, together with endorsing the UAE’s Declaration on Local weather, Aid, Restoration, and Peace at COP28 final 12 months, it nonetheless struggles to successfully serve communities in fragile contexts.  

Prioritizing finance for many who want it most

On the second assembly of the Loss and Harm Fund’s board this week, its members ought to take the next steps to understand the Fund’s promise and guarantee loss and injury financing reaches those that really want it most: 

  1. Designate a board member for fragile and conflict-affected conditions: This concept, initially proposed by Afghanistan for the GCF, was by no means totally realized. Board Members play an necessary position in shaping the insurance policies and procedures of the Loss and Harm Fund and sooner or later, approving initiatives. Moreover, an lively observer from civil society can symbolize the views of FCS at Board conferences.
  2. Develop a framework to determine “significantly weak” international locations: The Loss and Harm Fund board might want to decide which international locations are significantly weak to local weather change and thus, eligible to obtain financing. To make sure a complete understanding of vulnerability, the LDF should embody fragility metrics equivalent to financial, political, social cohesion, and safety dimensions in any forthcoming vulnerability framework. 
  3. Develop and approve operational insurance policies and frameworks for fragile contexts: To successfully make the most of loss and injury finance, the Fund ought to undertake insurance policies and instruments that permit fragile contexts to flexibly reply to shocks and disrupt the climate-conflict cycle. Mercy Corps’ Evaluation for Adaptation to Battle and Local weather Threats, for instance, examines the dynamics between local weather change and battle, and identifies entry factors and approaches to interrupt the cycle of fragility. In Mali and Niger, the place we piloted this device, program individuals recognized the wet season – particularly the start and the top – because the time when lots of the land-based conflicts happen between farmers and herders. It’s being utilized by the UK authorities to plan methods to resolve tensions and help ladies who’re significantly weak.   

The creation of the Loss and Harm Fund was a major victory for nations which have contributed the least to local weather change but bear the brunt of its impacts. The board of the Loss and Harm Fund now has a important alternative to make sure inclusion and fairness by guaranteeing that every one communities, particularly these in fragile and conflict-affected states, have entry to the mandatory funding to deal with loss and injury. It’s crucial that nobody is left behind on this international effort to fight the local weather disaster.

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