The Adaptation Fund responds to developing countries’ needs through concrete projects

As the impacts of climate change expand, the need for adaptation measures, and for international funding for adaptation, will increase. Finland supports the Adaptation Fund, which operates under the Paris Agreement and funds concrete projects that help the most vulnerable people in developing countries.

As climate change progresses, its impacts will expand. In addition to gradual changes, extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods or hurricanes, will become more common. Industrialised countries are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, but it is the most vulnerable people in the poorest countries who suffer the most from the impacts. This is why developed countries are funding measures to adapt to climate change, such as climate-smart agriculture, in the poorest countries.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow made a collective promise to double adaptation funding globally by 2025 compared to the 2019 level, and to seek a balance between adaptation and mitigation funding.

Countries have also set their own targets for adaptation funding. Finland’s target is to allocate half of its international climate finance to adaptation in developing countries.


The Adaptation Fund responds to the growing needs of developing countries


The Adaptation Fund, which operates under the Paris Climate Agreement, helps vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change. In 2021, Finland once again became a donor country with EUR 7 million. Finland has previously supported the launch of the fund and also granted it EUR 5 million in one-off funding.

The Adaptation Fund funds projects that help vulnerable communities in developing countries adapt to climate change, for example, in the areas of agriculture and water resources management. To date, the Adaptation Fund has committed USD 850 million to projects and programmes, including 125 concrete projects in nearly 100 countries, benefitting over 31 million people.

“Adaptation becomes more critical every year, particularly in developing countries. Many of the projects we have supported have been the first pioneering adaptation measures in their target areas. Many of them have produced such good results that the countries have expanded them many times over with other funding,” says Mikko Ollikainen, Head of the Adaptation Fund.

According to Mr Ollikainen, the Adaptation Fund has responded to the growing adaptation needs of developing countries by opening new funding windows, for example, for adaptation innovations, information management and expansion of activities.


Adaptation Fund project in Lao PDR improves access to infrastructure


Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events. Droughts and floods are expected to increase in frequency in the future and hit the poorest parts of the country hardest. For this reason, Lao PDR is intensifying adaptation measures that would reduce the risk of disaster and increase the country’s resilience.

The project funded by the Adaptation Fund in Lao PDR will strengthen disaster resilience in 189 of the most vulnerable communities in the southern provinces of Attapeu, Sekong and Saravane (Salavan). The project will increase access to basic infrastructure, emphasising resilience to storms, floods, droughts and landslides. The project will receive funding of USD 4.5 million.

“Before, I used to go twice a day to the river which is 20 minutes away from my village to collect water. I had to walk even more during the dry season.  Thanks to the project, now I have water in my own house. I am even able to grow vegetables in my garden,” said Sipaphai Kiuleshai, a resident of Saravane province.

Adaptation is not only a necessity, it also creates many opportunities. Adaptation measures can reduce the risks and losses caused by the impacts of climate change, accelerate innovation, increase the productivity of agriculture and achieve societal benefits, such as new livelihood opportunities.


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