By Omar Bah
The Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance has disclosed that Gambia is among over 194 countries that will benefit from the Green Climate Fund GCF, $10 billion project.
Bai Madi Ceesay, who also doubles as the national designated authority of the GCF project in the Gambia, said the Fund is a unique global initiative to respond to climate change by investing into low-emission and climate-resilient development.
GCF, he said was created in 2010 as the major funding mechanism under the Climate Change Convention to support member countries minimize the impact of climate change.
He said the GCF was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
He said his office has been identified to serve as the interface between GCF and the Gambia government.
Ceesay said as part of this, his office’s role is to serve as an oversight in the Gambia as well as to nominate locally-based institutions to gain accreditation.
He further noted that Accredited Entities, AE are institutions that upon evaluation are found to be financially sound and receive funds on behalf of the GCF for project implementation.
These institutions, he said would therefore be responsible for the procurement activities, monitoring and evaluation and also regularly reporting to the fund.
He said these institutions will also have the opportunity to make 10% of the total project fund as management fees.
“UNDP and FAO are the only accredited entities in the Gambia. But very soon GCCI and Guaranty Trust Bank will be accredited too,” he said.
He further disclosed that among his responsibilities is to sensitize all stakeholders, both private and public sectors as well as CBOs, NGOs on the Fund’s strategic investment priorities, accreditation and the submission of proposals.
He said his office has already conducted two workshops this year targeting the public and private sector institutions.
“My office is responsible for reviewing project concepts and proposals developed by national stakeholders and providing ‘Letters of No Objection’,” he added.
Ceesay further revealed that the Gambia’s vulnerability to climate change, ranging from coastal erosion, temperature increase and erratic rainfall patterns cannot be underestimated.
He said the evaluation of proposals would be based on to what extent they reflect national priorities and also the strategic investment areas of the Fund.
Meanwhile, the Senior Fiscal Officer and GCF Alternate Focal Point Fatou Kine Jobe, said the GCF does not provide funding directly to implementing parties of projects, “but channel the funds through an institution, agency or organization that it has accredited.”
She added that the accreditation process involves a detailed assessment of the financial capacity of the applicant including, but not limited to auditing reports, environmental and gender policy and staff qualifications.
The National Consultant for Development of Strategic Framework Bubacar Zaidi Jallow said as part of the GCF’s readiness programmes, the NDA had to be strengthened in terms of technical capacity.