The Adaptation Fund (AF)

Method of Support
Eligible Countries
All developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.
Funds Pledged
USD 639.10 million
Funds Received
USD 631.87 million
Funds Approved
USD 394.44 million
Funds Disbursed
USD 233.27 million
Source: The World Bank Group – Financial Intermediary Funds. “Adaptation Fund Trust Fund Financial Report.” (As of Dec 2016)
TIPS by USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific

There is available money in the Adaptation Fund, particularly for direct access. Therefore, countries need to continue working towards accreditation. This means strengthening fiduciary standards and improving transparency. Currently only 3 national implementing entities have been accredited in Asia-Pacific. Proposal submission materials and templates can be found on the fund’s website.


The Adaptation Fund is a multilateral fund which was established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol. Established in 2001, the Adaptation Fund finances concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The Adaptation Fund is financed partly by 2 percent of the proceeds from the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM), which allows for emissions offsetting through the purchase of greenhouse gas reduction credits coming from “clean” projects in developing countries.  Other sources of funding for the Adaptation Fund include voluntary financial pledges by donor governments.  The World Bank currently acts as the trustee for the Adaptation Fund and the Global Environment Facility provides secretariat services.
Target area
There are no prescribed sectors or approaches; however, to date, the fund has supported climate change adaptation in the following sectors: water resources management; land management; agriculture; disaster risk reduction; infrastructure development; fragile ecosystems, including mountainous ecosystems; and integrated coastal zone management. 
How to access the fund
Though not an easy process, multilateral, regional, and national organizations can apply for accreditation as implementing entities by the Adaptation Fund Board. Once an organization has received accreditation, it can submit project proposals for approval by the Board. A proposal must be submitted at least nine weeks prior to a Fund’s Board meeting. The Adaptation Fund imposes a USD 10 million cap in total per country. In addition, up to half of the fund’s total resources can be accessed by multilateral implementing entities, while the other half is reserved for direct access by national implementing entities. 
Approval process

Regular adaptation project and program proposals undergo either a one-step or a two-step approval process.

A small sized project, one requiring a contribution from the Adaptation Fund of less than USD 1 million, requires a one-step approval process where the implementing entity directly submits a fully-developed project proposal to the Adaptation Fund Board for approval.

For projects larger than USD 1 million, a two-step process is necessary. In this case, the Implementing Entity must first submit a brief project concept, which would be either endorsed, not endorsed, or rejected by the Board. If endorsed, a second step would then require that the implementing entity submit a fully-developed project or program document to be similarly approved, not approved, or rejected by the Board.