Poor countries ‘left behind’ in climate finance help

According to the report of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), a UK think-tank, released ahead of the second and final week of UN negotiations in Lima for a world pact to curb potentially disastrous global warming, half of nearly $8 billion in climate finance given to the developing world since 2003 went to just 10 countries, and nations most at risk got the short end of the stick.

The top recipients were Morocco, Mexico and Brazil, which each got more than $500 million of the $7.6-billion total, according to an analysis of spending over the last decade in 135 countries.

Conflict-affected and fragile countrie such as Ivory Coast and South Sudan, where it is generally difficult to spend finance, received less than $350,000 and $700,000 respectively. Several middle income countries that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and have significant clean energy potential, such as Namibia, El Salvador and Guatemala, also received less than $5 million each.

The aid from rich nations is meant to help poor and vulnerable countries adapt to climate change impacts and curb Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions through a shift away from fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas.

However, the ten most vulnerable nations, including Somalia, the Solomon Islands, Burundi, Niger and Eritrea, benefited from only seven percent of adaptation aid.

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