Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Earth Today | COVID-19 touches Green Climate Fund

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2020 | 12:22 AM
A concrete factory lays shattered, destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbor, Abaco Island, Bahamas, on September 7, 2019. Hurricanes and other natural disasters are some of the risks that people deal with regularly, and which require adaptation and mitigation planning.
A concrete factory lays shattered, destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbor, Abaco Island, Bahamas, on September 7, 2019. Hurricanes and other natural disasters are some of the risks that people deal with regularly, and which require adaptation and mitigation planning.

THE GREEN Climate Fund (GCF), with its mandate to help vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, has been impacted by the world’s latest public health emergency: the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a statement issued on March 22 and available on its website, the Fund, with its headquarters in the Republic of Korea, expressed “deep concern for the well-being of individuals and their families” who have been affected by the pandemic.

“This worldwide pandemic is more devastating than any in living memory, and GCF has not been spared. To date, three GCF staff members and one colleague from a partner organisation have tested positive for COVID-19. The extended GCF family is greatly affected by this situation. Our primary concern, of course, is for the health and welfare of the concerned individuals, their loved ones and the public at large,” the Fund revealed.

At the same time, the Fund said it is partnering with stakeholders from its home country to limit the risk of exposure and transmission of the virus, which had claimed the lives of 16,231 people globally up to March 24. Also up to March 24, there were 372,757 confirmed cases globally.

“The Green Climate Fund is working hand-in-hand with public health officials, medical experts and the authorities of the Republic of Korea, where GCF is based, as well as those in other countries.

Together, we are taking all necessary steps to limit the risks of exposure and transmission of COVID-19,” the GCF said.

“These actions supplement a range of precautionary measures that GCF put in place in February, when Coronavirus infections were escalating in the Republic of Korea, in a concerted effort to protect our staff and their families,” the Fund added.

Meanwhile, for those from the developing world whose efforts to ensure climate change resilience require financing, despite COVID-19, the GCF said they continue to work.

Ensuring continuity

“In the face of this reality, and despite serious challenges, the Green Climate Fund is committed to ensuring continuity of our operations – in a more agile, adaptable and virtual way – so that we can deliver on our critical mandate to combat climate change in developing countries,” the GCF said.

In fact, the Fund said it was now more important than ever to ensure those most vulnerable to climate change get what they need to bolster readiness.

“The current health emergency and attendant economic upheaval only serves to underscore the importance of acting urgently and effectively to support the most vulnerable and at-risk communities across the globe,” the Fund.

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