Community access to the Loss and Damage Fund Insights from the frontline in Bangladesh

By Nushrat Rahman Chowdhury
15 / 06 / 2024
A male sitting in front of his house in a river erosion hit village in Kurigram District. Often coupled with floods, river erosion – a slow-onset disaster – eats away lands across Bangladesh. Located along the Jamuna River, Kurigram’s thousands of people are at risk of loss of territory, livelihoods, and displacement. Photo credit: Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK)

In 2023 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) operationalised the Loss and Damage Fund. The Fund’s mandate includes addressing loss and damage to assist developing countries vulnerable to climate change.

One of the functions of the Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) Board is to develop various modalities to facilitate access to the Fund’s resources. These modalities may include “Access to small grants that support communities, Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable groups, and their livelihoods, including with respect to recovery after climate-related events.”

This report sets out recommendations for addressing barriers that may be faced by communities and civil society organisations in directly accessing small grants from the LDF to support frontline people (i.e., communities, vulnerable groups and Indigenous Peoples). We conducted seven key informant interviews with participants working with government organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGO), academia, thinktanks and civil society organisations (CSO) in Bangladesh to develop these recommendations.

The report discusses the significance and added value of this particular access option, offering insights from a national-level perspective to inform LDF Board decisions. It discusses issues such as country and community readiness to make use of this option, highlights support on the ground that might be needed (from local CSOs, CBOs, sub-national governments, national government), and sheds light on foreseen challenges and lessons learned.

The policy actions suggested in this report will help frontline people to unlock funds and utilise the finance themselves to respond to the climate-associated economic and non-economic losses and damages they are experiencing, from both extreme weather events and slow-onset events, in the context of ongoing and ex-post (including rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction) actions.

Read the full paper here: