Green Climate Fund and UNDP to build the resilience of women to fight climate change



28 February 2017, Dhaka –The world's largest multilateral fund for climate change action, the Green Climate Fund, has approved almost US$25 million in grant funding to support the efforts of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build the adaptive capacities of women and adolescent girls living in the southwestern districts of Bangladesh.

With a focus on women and adolescent girls, a new 6-year project ‘Enhancing adaptive capacities of coastal communities, especially women, to cope with climate change induced salinity’ is set to begin in July, 2018 and benefit 700,000 people living in disaster-prone areas. This is first of its kind project in Bangladesh, where the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, providing $8 million as a co-financer to work with UNDP to empower women as ‘change-agents’ to plan, implement, and manage climate-resilient solutions.

The project will provide assistance to 39,000 women and girls in Satkhira and Khulna to adopt resilient livelihoods, while ensuring reliable, safe drinking water for 130,000 people through community-managed rainwater harvesting solutions. It will also seek to strengthen the participation of women in last-mile dissemination of gender-responsive early warnings and continued monitoring and adaptation of livelihoods to evolving climate risks.

A key aspect focuses on enhancing women’s access to markets and finance. In addition to training in business development, the project will link women’s producer groups to business via networking activities (including through Public-Private Initiative platforms to be established at local level), and will provide support to access credit from the financial sector. In addition, the project will link women’s producer groups to market.

Secretary, Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, Nasima Begum ndc, welcomed the Green Climate Fund Board’s approval saying, “The Government of Bangladesh is committed to tackling climate change in the context of its overall development framework and its goals under Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This newly approved project contributes towards priorities outlined in Bangladesh’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) and climate change strategies, including its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and existing Climate Change Gender Action Plan”.

Through the project, the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs will be integrating gender and climate change across sectors. The Department of Public Health Engineering will be scaling-up climate-resilient solutions to ensure safe drinking water across coastal communities.

Ripan Kumar Mondal, Chairman, Deluti Union, Khulna said, “Through this women-centered initiative of Green Climate Fund and UNDP, almost 1500 women and adolescent girls from my union, will learn about climate change. It will help communities in my union adapt to climate change by addressing extreme weather conditions such as cyclones and flooding, as well as the consequence of increased salinity conditions in agriculture in Bangladesh.”

UNDP Country Director in Bangladesh, Sudipto Mukerjee, said, “Climate Action, Goal-13 of the Sustainable Development Goals, can’t be achieved if the women remain ignored. It’s also very important, to involve all other relevant ministries, like Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, who are now working with us to empower women in safeguarding lives and livelihoods. If all the actors work together in harmony with each other, then Bangladesh will be able to achieve both SDG13 as well as the climate change goals.”

Media enquiries

Md Abdul Quayyum, Communications Officer, UNDP Bangladesh, Tel: +88 017150 25551  Email:

Additional notes to editors

Both Satkhira and Khulna frequently experience cyclones and tidal flooding and experience severe drinking water scarcity due to salinity. Currently access to clean safe drinking water is as low as 5% of the population.

According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2018, Bangladesh ranks 6 of 182 countries most affected by extreme weather events from 1997 to 2016.

According to the World Bank, sixty percent of the worldwide deaths caused by cyclones in the last 20 years occurred in Bangladesh. Floods and riverbank erosions affect some one million people annually. Once every three to five years, up to two-thirds of the country is inundated by floods.

Climate change-induced salinity poses an extreme risk/threat to freshwater resources.

Bangladesh's National Determined Contributions (NDC’s) encompass both mitigation and adaptation targets. In addition to a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the power, transport and industry sectors, by 5%-15% from Business as Usual levels by 2030, Bangladesh is focused on climate change adaptation, including promotion of climate-resilient livelihoods, water security, early warning systems, and cyclone shelters.

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