Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman of the Ministry expressed gratitude for the GCF’s decision to convert the funding from a loan to a grant. Image Credit: APP

Islamabad: The Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest dedicated climate fund, has allocated $66 million in funding to assist the Pakistan government in mitigating the adverse effects of flooding and drought caused by climate change.

The ‘Recharge Pakistan: Building Pakistan’s Resilience to Climate Change through Ecosystem-Based Adaptation for Integrated Flood Risk Management’ is a seven-year project represents the largest national-level investment in ecosystem-based approaches to flood and water resource management. The latest investment aims to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities across the country, particularly those affected by catastrophic flooding.

The ‘Recharge Pakistan’ is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Climate Change, the Federal Flood Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, and WWF-Pakistan.

The project seeks to demonstrate the effectiveness of ecosystem-based adaptation and green infrastructure as innovative solutions alongside traditional grey infrastructure methods.

It will involve initiatives such as forest and wetland restoration, water flow path and channel rehabilitation, the creation of recharge basins and retention areas, and strengthening the climate resilience of local businesses in agriculture and forestry.

The project is projected to directly benefit over 600,000 individuals and indirectly impact nearly 7 million people.

Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman of the Ministry expressed gratitude for the GCF’s decision to convert the funding from a loan to a grant.

Pakistan’s lifeline

ollowing the devastating floods of 2022, Pakistan advocated for grant-based climate financing, and the funding aligns with that goal thanks to the GCF. Rehman stated that after months of consultations with all provinces, the project’s implementation now lies with them as the executing partners.

Dr. Adil Najam, President of WWF International, stressed the necessity of initiatives like Recharge Pakistan in rehabilitating the Indus Basin, which serves as Pakistan’s lifeline. “Through ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions, the project aims to restore the basin’s health, strengthen resilience, and safeguard vulnerable communities.

“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.” With this collaboration, “we are one vital step closer to building climate resilience, protecting biodiversity, and securing a sustainable future for Pakistan,” he added.

The Recharge Pakistan project aims to achieve better climate resilience, water and food security, and sustainable livelihoods in Pakistan by 2050. Its impact goals include reducing flood risk and enhancing water recharge at six sites in the Indus Basin by 2030, ultimately building resilience for 10 million people and vulnerable ecosystems.

Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General of WWF-Pakistan, emphasized the importance of focusing on green infrastructure and ecosystem-based adaptation in a country like Pakistan, where climate change impacts are becoming increasingly severe and frequent. He thanked the Green Climate Fund for their trust and recognition, as well as Minister Sherry Rehman for her support in securing the critical funding.

GCF is financing 84.8% of the $77.8 million project with $66m grant. In addition to the GCF funding, the project will receive collective support of $12 million, as well as technical assistance, from organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Coca-Cola Foundation, and WWF-Pakistan.