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U.S. sending millions overseas to prop up Ukraine and fight climate change in developing countries

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal officials announced this week hundreds of millions of dollars to be sent to foreign nations to prop up Ukraine and fight climate change in developing nations.

Ukraine Source: OCHA/ReliefWeb
Source: OCHA/ReliefWeb

In pursuit of certain objectives, Vice President Joe Biden announced Tuesday while in Kyiv, Ukraine, that, pending consultation with Congress, the White House plans to commit approximately $190 million in new assistance to support Ukraine’s “ambitious” reform agenda. These U.S. funds will theoretically “elevate the fight against corruption; attract investment; promote economic growth; strengthen energy security and build a long-term democratic foundation.

Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States will double its grant-based, public climate finance for adaptation by 2020.

Global warming
Global warming

As of 2014, the United States invested more than $400 million per year of grant-based resources for climate adaptation in developing countries. These investments supposedly provide support – through both bilateral and multilateral channels – to vulnerable countries to reduce climate risks in key areas, including infrastructure, agriculture, health and water services.

Kerry says the U.S. has pledged to double that figure by 2020 and says these funds are a component of an existing commitment by developed countries to jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 from a wide variety of sources, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.

Here’s how they plan to spend these funds:

  • Supporting the Least Developed Countries Fund: In his speech to the COP, President Obama joined ten other countries in announcing contributions totaling $248 million to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), which plays a key role in addressing urgent and immediate adaptation needs of least developed countries, focusing on reducing the vulnerability of sectors and resources that are central to human and national development.
  • Providing Risk Insurance to Hundreds of Millions of People in Vulnerable Countries: The next day, during a meeting with island nation leaders, President Obama announced a contribution of $30 million to support insurance initiatives under the Pacific Catastrophic Risk Assessment and Financing Initiative, expand the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility to cover Central American countries, and support the African Risk Capacity program. This was an important step toward the goal G-7 leaders set this summer to increase by up to 400 million the number of people in the most vulnerable developing countries who will have access to insurance against the negative impact of climate change hazards by 2020.
  • Building Climate Resilience into All U.S. International Assistance: In 2014, the President announced an Executive Order requiring Federal agencies to factor climate-resilience considerations systematically into the U.S. government’s international development work and to promote a similar approach with multilateral entities.
  • Expanding Climate Resilience Data Tools: Also in 2014, President Obama announced a new set of tools to harness the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States to help vulnerable populations around the world strengthen their climate resilience, including improved and extended extreme weather risk outlooks to help avoid loss of life and property; data, tools and services to enable countries to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, including global elevation data; and a new public-private partnership to ensure that the climate data, tools, and products made available by U.S. technical agencies are useful to developing countries.
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