Financing the Climate-Health Nexus: A Tool for Accessing Funds

Climate variability and change are expected to increase health risks for a range of diseases and illnesses, particularly in developing countries where health care systems are already challenged by lack of resources and capacity. Climate change and variability impact social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter – and thus present new and additional challenges to public health systems. The Financing the Climate-Health Nexus Tool summarizes a set of funds that are the most relevant and feasible for obtaining financing for initiatives addressing climate risks to human health. This reference page and accompanying step-by-step guide developed by the USAID-funded Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessment (ATLAS) project are intended to help governments quickly identify funding mechanisms to identify, address and prevent the health risks posed by climate variability and change. The primary intended users of this tool are developing country national governments, principally national health ministries in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as, public health care professionals, health sector development practitioners, and other related stakeholders.


Climate Effects on Human Health (infographic)

The opportunity

Download the full guide Financing the Climate-Health Nexus: A Guide for Developing Countries to Access Funds, which includes an overview of the funding landscape (global funds, private sector financing, etc.), resources for accessing funding, and case studies that offer insights on how to build climate-resilient health systems in practice.

Greater investments to address current and future climate-sensitive health challenges are critical to limit the impact of climate change and variability on health sector service delivery. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the single most important step to reduce the health impacts of climate change is to accelerate public health interventions to reduce the present burden of disease, particularly diseases related to climatic conditions in poor countries. Priority interventions include improving the management of the environmental determinants of health (such as provision of water and sanitation), increasing infectious disease surveillance, and strengthening the resilience of health systems to extreme weather events. Although early investment in climate-smart health systems will reduce the burden of disease both today and in the future, few investments have come from funding that specifically addresses climate-sensitive health outcomes.

The funds below represent the most relevant and feasible for governments to access to finance projects in the climate–health nexus.

Climate-focused funds

In response to the urgency and s significance of the challenge posed by climate variability and change, several platforms and mechanisms were created to finance the implementation of climate-sensitive measures (e.g. adaptation, mitigation, biodiversity conservation), and build countries’ capacities to address these challenges. Below is a detailed overview of ten climate funds accessible to national governments.

Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Fund Website:

About: The GCF aims to promote climate-resilient development by providing support to developing countries to prevent emissions and pollution, and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. At $10.3 billion, the GCF is the largest climate change fund; it anticipates disbursing $900 million in 2018. The GCF is staged to become the main multilateral financing mechanism to support climate action in developing countries.

Eligibility: All developing countries that are party to the UNFCCC.

Method of Support: Grants, concessional loans, subordinated debt, equity, and guarantees.

Focus Areas: The GFC aims for a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation investments; 50 percent of the adaptation allocation is aimed at LDCs, Small Island Developing States (SIDs), and African States. Currently, the brunt of GCF funding goes toward physical infrastructure improvements, but the GCF highly favors initiatives with monitoring, regulatory, or other components that help people on the ground better prevent and respond to problems, including disease outbreaks.

Potential Funding Opportunities:

  • Development and implementation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Health National Adaptation Plans (HNAPs).
  • Preventive and adaptive actions, such as setting up extreme weather early warning systems and improving water infrastructure, which can reduce the severity of climate impacts on health.
  • Carbon measurement and reduction within the health sector.
  • Renewable energy systems for the health sector.
  • Green building/net-zero health care facilities.
  • Training and regulatory/framework reforms.

How to Access: The GCF publishes a call for proposals on the Fund's website and also accepts concept notes and funding proposals on a rolling basis. To access funding, public and private entities may submit funding proposals through GCF's Accredited Entities (AE), or go through a six-month accreditation process. For proposals under $10 million and with minimal social and environmental risks, the GCF has a new Simplified Approval Process.

Key Resources: Green Climate Fund Proposal Toolkit; Accredited Entity Directory

Project Portfolio: Browse projects and programs here.

Adaptation Fund

Fund Website:

About: The AF was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programs in developing countries that are party to the Kyoto Protocol and are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. As of 2018, the fund had $426 million committed to projects.

Eligibility: All developing countries (LDCs and SIDs) that are a party to the Kyoto Protocol.

Method of Support: Grants.

Focus Area: No prescribed sectors or approaches are in place, but projects/programs must align with national priorities and have visible and tangible results on the ground aimed at addressing the adverse impacts of and risks posed by climate change. To date, the AF has supported adaptation in the following sectors: food and water security, coastal management, agriculture, disaster risk reduction, rural development, and forests.

Potential Funding Opportunity: No projects to date focus specifically on climate and health adaptation, however cross-cutting programming that integrates health with disaster risk reduction and early warning systems for food security or disease surveillance remains a priority target.

Good to Know:

  • Up to one-half of the AF’s total resources can be accessed by multilateral implementing entities, while the other half is reserved for direct access by national implementing entities (NIEs).
  • The Fund’s main revenue source is Certified Emission Reductions (CER) sales but the collapse of the carbon markets since the 2008 financial crisis means new resources are needed.
  • Several small grants are available under the Climate Finance Readiness Programme to help NIEs provide peer support to countries seeking accreditation with the Fund and to build capacity for undertaking various climate finance readiness activities.

How to Access: Organizations seeking financial resources must apply to be an Accreddited Entity with the AF or submit proposals directly through a national, regional, or multilateral implementing entity accredited by the AF. Once an organization has received accreditation, it can submit project proposals for approval.

Key Resources: Read more about the application process.

Project Portfolio: Browse list of projects here.

The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)

Fund Website:

About: The LDCF is a multilateral fund established in 2001 under the UNFCCC and operationalized in 2002. It aims to address the special needs of the world’s 49 LDCs as they adapt to the effects of climate change; its priority is supporting the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPAs). As of 2017, the LDCF’s total contribution, 56 percent of which goes to Africa, was $1,221.52 million.

Eligibility: 48 LDCs, of which 34 are in Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Method of Support: Grants.

Focus Areas: Any sector identified as a priority area under the NAPA is relevant for the LDCF. To date, LDCF has supported adaptation in the following sectors: agriculture, natural resource management, water resource management, coastal zone management, climate information services, disaster risk management, infrastructure, health, and cross-cutting programs.

Potential Funding Opportunity: Revise, develop, and/or implement the National Adaptation Plan for building health resilience to climate change.

How to Access the Fund: The LDCF accepts applications on a rolling basis for projects that prepare and implement NAPAs. Project proponents must secure the endorsement of the national GEF Operational Focal Point prior to requesting assistance. Proposal applications are accepted by the GEF Secretariat through one of its 18 implementing agencies.

Project Portfolio: Filter for LDCF project on the GEF database.

Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF)

Fund Website:

About: The ACCF is a bilateral, multi-donor trust fund created by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in April 2014 to support regional member countries’ transition to more climate-resilient, low-carbon development, and to help countries access greater amounts of climate finance and use funds more efficiently and effectively. As of April 2019, the ACCF has approved eight small grant projects totaling $3.3 million.

Eligibility: Grant recipients may include African governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), research institutions, and regional institutions (jointly referred to as external recipients).

Method of Support: Grants.

Focus Areas: The scope of the ACCF is sufficiently wide to permit a broad range of activities, including: preparation for accessing climate funding; integration of climate change and green growth into strategic documents and/or projects; preparation and funding of adaptation and mitigation projects; climate change-related knowledge management and information sharing; capacity building; preparation of climate change-resilient and low-carbon strategies and policies; green growth analysis work; and advocacy and awareness-raising.

Potential Funding Opportunity:

  • Capacity building in climate change and green growth for African countries and stakeholders at national and regional levels.
  • Leveraging of funds to access larger amounts of climate finance and more effective use of funds provided.

How to Access the Fund: Funding opportunities are available through a public call for proposals. Calls for proposals were held in 2014 and 2017, both with a one-month application window. Eligible beneficiaries must submit a concept note following a template.

Program Portfolio: Explore ACCF’s technical and financial support.

Key Resources: Overview of Fund; Frequently Asked Questions

Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

Fund Website:

About: The United Nation’s CTCN provides tailored advice and assistance for deploying climate-friendly technologies at the request of developing countries, through a global network of partners. CTCN technical assistance aims to create opportunities and remove barriers for financial investment from the UNFCCC Finance Mechanism institutions, development banks, and/or the private sector.

Eligibility: Requests submitted by LDCs and other highly vulnerable and low-capacity countries are prioritized. The request for technical assistance must:

  • Have a clear and positive benefit in mitigating or adapting to climate change.
  • Align with national plans and strategies.
  • Strengthen national capacities.
  • Describe processes in place in the country to monitor and evaluate any support provided.

Method of Support: Technical assistance and grants.

Focus Areas: The CTCN delivers five main types of technical support on climate technologies to countries seeking help in sectors such as energy, forestry, agriculture, water, industry, human health, and waste management: 1) technical assessments, 2) technical support for policy and planning, 3) trainings, 4) tools and methodologies, and 5) implementation plans.

Potential Funding Opportunity: Technical assessments, identification of detailed interventions, comprehensive costing of adaptation interventions, recommendations for policy and standards, and other recommendations for a project to best achieve its climate-resilience goals.

How to Access the Fund: Academic, government, NGO, and/or private sector representatives work with their National Designated Entity (NDE) to identify the type of technical assistance needed to implement their technology-related climate plans. The NDE conveys the request to the CTCN by submitting a technical assistance form. Upon receipt of a request, the CTCN quickly mobilizes its global network of climate technology experts to collaborate with the NDE to provide a solution tailored to the needs of the individual country. Response plans are generally delivered within 12 months. Additional details can be found in Annex A of the full report linked here.

Examples of Past Projects:

Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+)

Fund Website: and

About: The GCCA+ partners with national and local governments, regional organizations, NGOs, academic and scientific institutions, plus local representations of international organizations and multilateral/bilateral development agencies to pool resources, expertise, and knowledge to find the best solutions for tackling the causes and impacts of climate change.

Eligibility: To be eligible for GCCA+ financial support, a country has to be among the 73 LDCs or SIDs that are already recipients of funds. Training and technical assistance services related to climate change are also available for government agencies of ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States) countries, through the GCCA+'s Intra-ACP Programme.

Method of Support: Technical assistance and grants.

Focus Areas: The GCCA+ priority areas include:

  • ● Mainstreaming climate change into poverty reduction and development strategies.
  • ● Adaptation, building on National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPAs) and other national plans.
  • ● Disaster risk reduction (DRR).
  • ● Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
  • ● Enhancing participation in the global carbon market and the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Potential Funding Opportunity: Opportunity exists to apply for technical assistance and/or training in the climate–health nexus, particularly for activities that link to existing initiatives that contribute to GCCA+ priority areas, like mainstreaming climate change into poverty reduction strategies. Examples include feasibility studies; project identification or formulation; climate funding requirements and access to funds; capacity building, trainings, and workshops; curriculum development; policy development; and other activities related to climate change.

How to Access the Fund: The GCCA+ follows a demand-driven approach. Governments, regional organizations, NGOs, and other stakeholders can express interest in receiving support from the GCCA+ to the EU delegation in the concerned country. More details on how to participate can be found here.

Project Portfolio: Explore GCCA+’s actions supported.

International Climate Initiative (IKI)

Fund Website:

About: The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is a key German funding instrument and element of the country’s contribution to climate finance, which finances projects that promote climate-friendly economies, support measures for climate change adaptation, and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). The IKI provides assistance mainly through technology cooperation, policy advice, and capacity development and receives funding of €120 million per year.

Eligibility: Broad eligibility, including developing, newly industrializing, and transition countries in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Small Island States in the Pacific and the Caribbean, and others.

Method of Support: Grants and concessional loans.

Focus Areas:

  • Low-carbon development
  • Adaptation
  • Carbon sinks/REDD+
  • Biodiversity

Potential Funding Opportunity: Opportunity for cross-sectoral adaptation and development of national health adaptation plans.

How to Access the Fund: The IKI selects projects through a call for proposals. It looks primarily for national or regional proposals, that, as joint programs with regional focuses, implement overall programmatic approaches with a volume of generally €15–20 million. If there is a major need for support for individual countries that are not IKI priority, countries can in exceptional cases also be recipients of funding. Proposals can be submitted by Germany’s federal implementing agencies, NGOs, business enterprises, universities, and research institutes, as well as by international and multinational organizations.

Key Resources: Application Guidelines; Frequently Asked Questions

Project Portfolio: Explore projects here.

Nordic Development Fund (NDF)/ Nordic Climate Facility (NCF)

Fund Website: and

About: NDF is a multilateral development finance institution established in 1989 by the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). In 2009, NDF established the Nordic Climate Facility (NCF) and began providing grant financing for climate change investments in low-income countries. NCF aims at building partnerships between the Nordic countries and NCF’s partner countries on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Eligibility: All projects should be implemented through partnerships between Nordic and local organizations in an eligible NCF country; financing is granted only to organizations, companies and authorities with relevant technical capacities that are registered in one of the five Nordic countries. Eligible NCF countries in Africa include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Method of Support: Grants.

Focus Areas:

  • Adaptation and mitigation activities across sectors and areas susceptible to climate change, such as: energy, transport, water and sanitation, health, agriculture, forestry, and other areas related to natural resource management.
  • Climate change impact analysis
  • National adaptation planning

Potential Funding Opportunity:

  • Health adaptation
  • Health mitigation
  • Capacity building/training/conference

How to Access the Fund: NCF selects projects for funding through an annual call for proposals. Proposals must include one or more eligible partnerships between Nordic and local organizations in an eligible NCF country. The project partners must mobilize co-financing equal to at least 25 percent of the requested NCF grant.

Key Resources: Guidelines for Project Identification and Screening; NCF Results Report 2018; Frequently Asked Questions

Project Portfolio: Browse NDF’s Africa projects here; a list of all awarded NCF projects can be found here.

Health-focused funds

Several health-focused initiatives and instruments have been established in an effort to catalyze capital for, and investments in, global public health challenges such as HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria. Below is a detailed overview of five health funds accessible to national governments.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)

Fund Website:

About: The GFATM is an independent and multilateral financing mechanism developed to raise, manage, and invest money from public and private donors to respond to HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria in low- and middle-income countries. It is the world's largest financier of HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria programs, investing nearly $4 billion per year to support performance-based programs. Donor governments account for 95 percent of the financial support – the United States and the Gates Foundation are the largest public and private contributors, respectively. GFATM has a portfolio of programs operating in 124 countries around the world.

Eligibility: Eligibility is based on a country’s income level and disease burden. It is possible for a country to be eligible to receive funding for only one or two of the diseases. The 2019 Eligibility List identifies which countries and components (HIV/AIDS, TB, or malaria) may be eligible to receive allocated funding for the upcoming 2020-2022 funding cycle.

Method of Support: Grants.

Focus Areas:

  • Prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS (50 percent), TB (18 percent), and malaria (32 percent)
  • Investments for building resilient and sustainable systems for health
  • Universal health coverage and investing in domestic resources for health

Potential Funding Opportunity: Projects that seek to adapt health systems in East Africa to address upstream drivers of malaria transmission (temperature, rainfall seasonality) to prevent spread of malaria; projects that address the connection between HIV, climate change, and food security.

How to Access the Fund: Eligible countries can request funding at any time during the three-year allocation cycle (the current one is from 2017-2019). Funding requests, referred to as a “concept note,” are developed through a three-month consultative process between the CCM and the GFATM and must align with the country's national strategic plan for the disease, if applicable. Further information can be found in The Applicant Handbook.

Key Resources: The Applicant Handbook; The Global Fund 2017–2019 Funding Cycle; Frequently Asked Questions

Project Portfolio: Grant Overview

The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)

Fund Website:

About: OFID is the development finance institution established by the Member States of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1976 as a channel for aid to developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world by providing financing to build infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery, and promote productivity, competitiveness, and trade.

Eligibility: While all developing countries—other than OPEC and OFID Member Countries (MCs)—are eligible for OFID’s grant assistance, priority is given to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Method of Support:

Focus Areas: OFID’s work is people-centric, focusing on projects that meet basic needs – such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, health care, and education – with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future.

Potential Funding Opportunity: Health sector strengthening

How to Access the Fund: Review the eligibility requirements and application process here.

Key Resources: Information on Grants and Frequently Asked Questions.

Project Portfolio: The majority of public sector projects include investments in construction, expansion, or rehabilitation of hospitals and treatment centers. See list of health projects here.

European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)

Fund Website:

About: The EDCTP funds clinical research to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides, and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria as well as other poverty-related infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials.

Eligibility: Natural persons and legal entities that are public or private, for-profit, or not-for-profit (e.g., universities, government departments, research organizations, NGOs, large companies, and small to medium enterprises) regardless of their place of establishment or residence can participate in EDCTP. They must demonstrate that they possess the operational and financial capacity to carry out the proposed tasks. See the EDCTP Grants Manual for further details.

Method of Support and Focus Areas

  • Research and Innovation Actions (RIAs) - clinical research activities and clinical trials in partnership with sub-Saharan Africa countries.
  • Coordination and Support Activities (CSAs) – standardization, dissemination, awareness-raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies.
  • Training and Mobility Awards (TMAs) – developing clinical research capacities and skills of researchers and clinical research staff from sub-Saharan Africa.

Potential Funding Opportunity: Strengthening health system services, particularly around poverty-related infectious diseases (HIV, TB, malaria, etc.).

How to Access the Fund: Check here for open calls.

Key Resources: EDCTP Grant Manual.

Project Portfolio: Browse EDCTP’s project portfolio.


Fund Website:

About: Unitaid is an international organization that invests in new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria more quickly, more cheaply, and more effectively. It also works to improve access to diagnostics and treatment for HIV co-infections, including hepatitis C. Unitaid is a hosted partnership of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Eligibility: Unitaid does not implement interventions directly and has no in-country presence. For proposals that include country implementation, the organization should demonstrate that it has the capability and capacity to deliver the proposed work in project countries and that the intervention will have a global/regional effect.

Method of Support: Short-term financial grants.

Potential Funding Opportunity: Innovative, scalable approaches in vector control and malaria prevention (Unitaid is currently funding both issues).

How to Access the Fund: Check here for open calls.

Key Resources: Information on submitting a proposal.

Project Portfolio: Browse Unitaid’s project portfolio.

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Fund Website:

About: Founded in 2002, CIFF is the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses specifically on improving children’s lives. Areas of work include maternal and child health, adolescent sexual health, nutrition, education, deworming, tackling child slavery and exploitation, and supporting smart ways to slow down and stop climate change.

Eligibility: No eligibility requirements are publicly available.

Method of Support: Grants.

Potential Funding Opportunity:

  • Decarbonization of health systems
  • Improving air quality
  • Reducing hydrofluorocarbons
  • Increasing renewable energy production/consumption

How to Access the Fund: CIFF identifies opportunities by talking to and meeting individuals and organizations working within priority areas. It normally does not accept unsolicited proposals. More information can be found here.

Project Portfolio: Browse CIFF’s grant portfolio.


Private foundations can be an important partner for health ministries by funding various international health programs that align with National Ps or national policies. Although governments are often not eligible recipients of foundation funding directly, governments can partner with NGOs who are eligible to access the funding. Many foundations already require grantees to align with government priorities and/or have a strategy for scaling up initiatives through the public sector.

The Gates Foundation

Focus: HIV, malaria, TB, diarrheal disease

How to access: Grant opportunities

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Focus: Youth health and well-being; climate change (mitigation)

How to access: Process for applying

Rockefeller Foundation

Focus: Planetary health, disease surveillance, health systems

How to access: What they fund


Focus: HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria

How to access: Call for proposals

The MacArthur Foundation

Focus: Maternal and reproductive health; reducing GHG emissions

How to access: Information for grant-seekers

The Clinton Foundation

Focus: Climate change (mitigation and adaptation), health system

The Packard Foundation

Focus: Climate change (mitigation), reproductive health

How to access: Information for grant-seekers

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Focus: Climate change (mitigation)

How to access: Information on grants

Grand Challenges Canada

Focus: Global health innovations

How to access: More information

IZUMI Foundation

Focus: Health (5 priority areas)

How to access: Information on funds and grants

Date: June 2019