The Adaptation Fund

October 22, 2020


Climate change is predicted to greatly affect the poorest people in the world, who are often hardest hit by weather catastrophes, desertification, and rising sea levels, but who have contributed the least to the problem of global warming. In some parts of the world, climate change has already contributed to worsening food security, reduced the predictable availability of fresh water, and exacerbated the spread of disease and other threats to human health. Helping the most vulnerable countries and communities is an increasing challenge and imperative for the international community, especially because climate adaptation requires significant resources beyond what is already needed to achieve international development objectives.

The Adaptation Fund finances projects and programmes that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change. Initiatives are based on country needs, views and priorities. The Fund was established under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and since 2010 has committed US$ 720 million to climate adaptation and resilience activities, including supporting 100 concrete adaptation projects.

The Fund is financed in part by government and private donors, and also from a two percent share of proceeds of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) issued under the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism projects.

Apply for Funding

1- Get Accredited with the Adaptation Fund

To apply for project and programme funding, countries must submit proposals through an accredited institution. There are three categories of accredited institutions:

Only institutions accredited by the Adaptation Fund may receive funding for adaptation projects. After accreditation, the entity may submit project proposals aligned with national priorities for consideration by the Adaptation Fund Board.

National implementing entities fall under the Adaptation Fund’s Direct Access modality, which enables entities to directly access financing and manage all aspects of climate adaptation and resilience projects, from design through implementation, to monitoring and evaluation. Direct Access allows developing countries to strengthen capacity to adapt to climate change and build on local expertise.

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2- Apply for Project Funding

After the Adaptation Fund Board decides to accredit an entity considering the recommendation by the Accreditation Panel, the entity can submit a concept or a full project proposal. Parties seeking financial resources from the Adaptation Fund must submit their project and programme proposals through accredited National, Regional, or Multilateral Implementing Entities. Proposals will be reviewed with respect to specific criteria available in the Operational Policies and Guidelines.

Proposals are accepted three times a year: twice before the biannual Adaptation Fund Board meetings and once during an intersessional review cycle. Please see the events calendar for upcoming submission deadlines.

South-South Cooperation Grants

The Adaptation Fund’s Readiness Programme for Climate Finance aims to help strengthen the capacity of national and regional implementing entities to receive and manage climate financing, particularly through the Direct Access modality, and to adapt and build resilience to counter changing climate conditions in sectors ranging from agriculture and food security to coastal zones and urban areas. The programme also aims to advance direct access in developing countries and promotes the accreditation of National Implementing Entities (NIEs) from developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Navigating the accreditation process and fulfilling the requirements of the accreditation criteria can be a challenging experience for countries. Receiving support and guidance from an already accredited NIE of the Adaptation Fund (the Fund) can help developing countries that are going through the accreditation process to quickly navigate through the accreditation requirements and reduce the length of the accreditation process. It is expected that such peer-peer support will effectively help build national capacity and sustainability for both the accreditation applicant and the provider of accreditation support.

As part of the Readiness Programme, the Adaptation Fund Board (the Board) decided to make South-South Cooperation grants available in order to increase peer-to-peer support among accredited NIEs and those seeking accreditation. These grants are aimed at strengthening the capacity of countries seeking accreditation with the Fund to undertake activities and to prepare and submit relevant documents that lead to accreditation with the Fund.

How It Works

Countries seeking accreditation with the Adaptation Fund can submit through an eligible accredited NIE, a proposal for peer support to prepare and submit an application for accreditation to the Fund. The country seeking accreditation can contact an accredited NIE of their choice to initiate dialogue and work with the NIE to see through the submission of the proposal to receive peer support.

Following receipt of the proposal, the Adaptation Fund Board Secretariat will review the application and make a recommendation to the Board. The Board will then make a decision on the proposal and if approved, funds will be transferred to the accredited NIE to implement, together with the country seeking accreditation, the activities for peer support as outlined in the proposal.


The South-South Cooperation grants are no longer available and have been replaced by the readiness package grant which enables the delivery of more targeted and comprehensive support for accreditation to the Adaptation Fund.