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Central America Fights Climate Change with Minimal Foreign Aid

SAN JOSE, Jul 31 2017 (IPS) - Despite the fact that Central America is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, it has half-empty coffers when it comes to funding efforts against the phenomenon, in part because it receives mere crumbs in foreign aid to face the impacts of the rise in temperatures.

According to a study released in June, Central America received just 0.7 per cent of global climate finance – only 211.65 million dollars – between 2003 and 2016.

That means that of every 100 dollars of foreign aid destined to climate change, only 70 cents went to Central America.

The report was prepared by the Guatemala-based Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies (Icefi), and the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos), a Dutch development organisation, using data from Climate Funds Update.

“Although Central America is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, the countries in the region have failed to design a strategy for raising more funds to address the issue,“ Lourdes Molina, the Icefi researcher who headed the study, told IPS.

All of the countries in Central America are on the Caribbean Sea with the exception of El Salvador, and this is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change.

According to the Global Climate Risk Index developed by Germanwatch, which monitors the impacts of weather-related loss events, the most vulnerable country in the world during the 1995-2015 period was Honduras, while Nicaragua was the fourth and Guatemala the tenth most vulnerable.

Honduras received the largest proportion of funds to fight climate change impacts, with 70.2 million dollars (nearly 33 per cent), while Costa Rica received 35.5 million dollars (17 per cent), Nicaragua 32.2 million (15 per cent), Guatemala 13.2 million (10 per cent), El Salvador 32.7 million (16 per cent) and Panama 20.6 million (six per cent).

The remaining three per cent was support for regional projects, said the report.

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