UNDP and Sweden to Strengthen Climate Change Finance and Gender Equality in Asia Pacific

Mar 16, 2017

Ms Valerie Cliff (left), Deputy Regional Director of UNDP in Asia and the Pacific, and Ms Anne-Charlotte Malm, Sweden’s Head of Regional Development Cooperation in Asia, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective agencies. UNDP Photo

Bangkok, Stockholm, 16 March 2017 

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Embassy of Sweden today signed a 90 million Krona (approx. US$10 million) partnership to strengthen the governance of climate change finance and budgeting in Asia and the Pacific.

The partnership will work directly with ministries of finance to ensure national budgets better incorporate climate change. As national budgets are the tools with which countries translate policy into action – a greater focus on climate issues improves effectiveness, accountability and responses to climate risks and impacts.

This initiative, known as Strengthening the Governance of Climate Change Finance to Enhance Gender Equality, represents the second phase of a UNDP-Sweden partnership that has been working to integrate climate change within budget processes since 2012. The partnership will support a number of successful initiatives in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vanuatu, and Tonga. These projects not only focus on the poor and vulnerable exposed to climate risks but also aim for deeper benefits to gender responsiveness in climate programming along with wider benefits for human rights.

Extreme weather events linked to climate change such as droughts and severe storms are increasingly threatening lives and livelihoods throughout the Asia Pacific Region. Highly vulnerable groups are more likely to suffer from the effects of these impacts which include rising food costs, lower agricultural yields and the spread of tropical diseases.

“As national budgets play a critical role in enabling countries to deliver development priorities in an integrated way, the partnership’s focus on climate integration, gender responsiveness and human rights within budgets is critical,” said Anne-Charlotte Malm, Sweden’s Head of Regional Development Cooperation in Asia.

While international and domestic funding to tackle climate change is rapidly increasing and a number of programmes aim to address the challenges in affected countries, the UNDP-Sweden partnership uniquely works directly with ministries of finance to better mobilise, manage and target climate finance.

The initiative will include collaboration with other UN-agencies such as UN Women and UN Environment as well as civil society organisations.

“With increases in climate finance following the Paris Agreement, improving the effectiveness of climate finance and budgeting is increasingly important. This partnership is working with governments to enable them to create well-considered, transparent and effective budgets – improving the effectiveness and sustainability of climate finance,” added Ms. Malm.

“Climate change vulnerabilities threaten to exacerbate gender inequality within the Asia-Pacific region,” said Valerie Cliff, Deputy Regional Director of UNDP Asia Pacific. “Women have a higher mortality during natural disasters such as floods and droughts and weather events that create homelessness and force resettlement also impact women’s personal security.”

“However, climate change financing creates a unique opportunity to address long standing challenges of inequality in the region - including gender inequality and human rights injustices. This partnership - by promoting human rights, focusing on empowerment and capacity development and improved transparency, accountability and participation - is at the forefront of gender responsive and human rights based approaches to climate change programming.”

The partnership is scheduled to run through to 2022.

For additional information please contact

Hamish Wyatt at Hamish.wyatt@undp.org or visit www.sida.se/englishwww.cfade.org, or www.asia-pacific.undp.org