FAO in Afghanistan

NEPA and FAO set to begin Afghanistan’s first-ever Green Climate Fund project


Kabul, Afghanistan – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) have joined forces to implement the first-ever GCF project in Afghanistan that focuses on building the capacity of Afghanistan’s National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA).

The implementation of this project will enable the agency to independently handle the GCF funding projects and lead the government coordination on the GCF projects.

The joint FAO-GCF project entitled “Strengthening NEPA through readiness preparatory support program” will be implemented in two phases. The first phase of the project will involve a series of intervention regarding NEPA gap assessment, capacity building trainings and conferences on issues related to GCF, climate financing and climate change issues and establishment of an online portal to provide climate change information. The second phase of the project will support NEPA to set its country programming process, identify and draft an initial set of sectoral and investment priorities,  convene a national consultation workshop with government institutions to review and refine the initial set of priorities, convening consultation meetings with development partners and UN agencies discuss and validate the sectoral priorities. The project will also support NEPA’s gender department on how to integrate gender in climate change projects.

“GCF is one of the important global climate finance mechanisms for Afghanistan, while thanking FAO for being ready to technically support the implementation of the project, this  project will open the door for Afghanistan to get access to GCF projects in the future”, said HE Schah Zaman Maiwandi, Director General of NEPA.

“2018 was a year of severe dry spell for most of the country, leaving thousands without food and forced to leave their homes. 2019 is thus far proving to be a year of too much water, the consequences of which are yet to be seen.  A changing climate means these extremes in weather are only going to get worse in the coming years…and as Afghanistan’s population grows, more and more people will suffer from the impacts. It’s critical that Afghanistan urgently prepares itself for and prevents more climate-related disasters, else the future of the country and its sun-filled landscapes may not be as bright as they deserve to be”, said Rajendra Aryal, FAO Representative in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Droughts, landslides, decreasing ground water levels, and soil erosion are just some of these impacts, and the downstream results of these impacts have serious health, financial and security implications for Afghanistan’s future. 

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set- up in 2010 by the 194 countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is a financing mechanism that is used to combat climate change and its impacts in countries that need financial support. GCF began collecting pledges in 2014, and now it is worth USD 10.3 billion. GCF projects are aligned with the priorities of the country they are working in, and once national organizations have sufficient talent, they can receive funding directly, rather than via international partners.

The project will be implemented under the leadership of NEPA with the technical support of FAO. The project is funded by GCF that provides USD 300,000 for its implementation.