The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), located in the northern Pacific Ocean, is part of the Micronesia archipelago consisting of 34 low-lying coral atolls, which in turn are made up of over 100 individual islands and islets. A little over 70,000 people inhabit the scattered atolls and remote islands, relying on the surrounding diverse marine ecosystems for both food and income. These areas are under threat due to adverse environmental effects and prolonged droughts. To combat these threats to livelihoods, the local government must mobilize climate financing in order to implement projects that strengthen the country’s resilience to the impacts of climate variability and natural disasters.
Unfortunately, RMI currently faces challenges in mobilizing climate finance, as direct access to funds requires considerable amounts of resources to successfully complete the accreditation process and no organization in RMI is currently accredited. Since countries can only access funds through an accredited entity, the islands currently rely on development partners and financial intermediaries to acquire funds via the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. This reliance hinders national organizations’ capacity to develop, manage and implement projects and also limits their input of project objectives. With direct access, the country would receive funding directly through national entities, which would enhance country ownership of climate finance and allow for better alignment and integration with national plans and priorities, bolstering institutional and project development capacities.
DT Global's USAID Ready project has partnered with RMI’s National Designated Authority, the Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC), to undertake a rapid assessment of identifying organizations for potential Green Climate Fund accreditation. In mid-February 2019, USAID Ready provided technical support to the OEPPC to assess three local organizations—Ministry of Finance, Marshall Islands Development Bank and Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority—to determine how they align with Green Climate Fund’s accreditation standards. The assessment involved key staff, board members and relevant stakeholders and gauged the three organizations on accreditation requirements, such as gender policies, ethics, anti-corruption, environment and social safeguards, and procurement procedures. With the assessment complete, USAID Ready is compiling the data and will provide the OEPPC with the necessary information to determine which of these proposed organizations should seek accreditation status. The OEPPC is hopeful that this assessment will increase the chances of one of these organizations becoming accredited in 2019, which would then allow them opportunities to directly pursue funds through the Green Climate Fund.
USAID Ready will continue working with a wide range of partners to boost the capacity of other RMI institutions to access climate finance and strengthen the country’s resilience to climate change.