The Cook Islands have received financial resources from the Green Climate Fund to strengthen their capacity to access finance through GCF. With this disbursement, Cook Islands are the first country in the Pacific region and the first Small Island Developing State (SIDS) to receive such funding.
Readiness grants are designed to help countries prepare to work with the Fund and move towards climate-resilient, low-emission development.
The Cook Islands have received a first tranche of USD 75,000 from a total readiness grant of USD 150,000. It will help the country strengthen its National Designated Authority (NDA) and undertake national stakeholder consultations, as well as to establish processes to fast-track the islands’ access to GCF funding while ensuring country ownership.
“The Cook Islands are extremely pleased to be the first country in the Pacific region to receive readiness support from GCF,” stated Elizabeth Wright-Koteka, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s office of Cook Islands. “This is a fund that we have strongly advocated for. As a nation that is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, we stand ready to build our peoples’ resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change, whether these are immediate or long term,” she said.
This new grant brings the total amount of resources disbursed for readiness activities to over USD 350,000, including to three Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa. This follows grant agreements signed with 13 countries to date, totalling USD 3.75 million.
All of the countries that have signed agreements for GCF readiness grants have used the Fund’s innovative direct access modality, which was developed to streamline access by developing countries to GCF. With Cook Islands, GCF is already disbursing resources to four such countries, including three LDCs in Africa.
“This latest disbursement demonstrates how GCF is rolling out its readiness grants to help countries of all sizes and in all regions to access the Fund,” said GCF’s Executive Director, Héla Cheikhrouhou. “More than 100 developing countries are now engaging with our readiness programme, and we are committed to support all of them in building their capacity to access urgently needed climate finance.”