Green Climate Fund (GCF) - Readiness Programme

Climate Objective
Sectors and Themes
Disaster Risk Reduction
Forestry and Other Land Use
Industry and Infrastructure
Nature-based Solutions and Ecosystem Services
Oceans and Coasts
Rural Development
Type of Support Provider
Type of Recipient
Public entity at the national level
Public entity at the sub-national level
Public entity at the regional level
International organization
Non-profit or civil society organization
Private sector
Community-level organization
Fund Size

Total resources approved for readiness (USD): 513.2m

The Readiness Programme is designed to be a flexible tool to support developing countries. Based on the submission of high-quality proposals, the Readiness Programme can provide:

Up to USD 1 million per country per year for support related to institutional capacity building, coordination, policy and planning, and programming for investment. Of this overall amount, NDAs/FPs may request up to USD 300,000 per year in direct support to help establish or strengthen a NDA or focal point to deliver on the Fund's requirements. A maximum of USD 100,000 can be used for NDA-led stakeholder meetings.

The calculation for Readiness commitments against the annual cap of USD 1 million per country per year is based on the date that approval notification is sent to the country.

Up to USD 3 million per country for the formulation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and/or other adaptation planning processes. This may include support for subnational adaptation plans and/or sectoral adaptation planning processes.

GCF can also provide capacity building for national or regional organisations (Direct Access Entities) seeking accreditation to the Fund, once they are nominated by their local NDAs.

Co-financing Requirement
Application Timeframe

For adaptation planning oriented proposals, proposals can be submitted at any time.

Trustee or Administrator
World Bank
Contact Information
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Middle East and North Africa
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Program provides resources for strengthening the institutional capacities of National Designated Authorities (NDAs) or focal points and Direct Access Entities to efficiently engage with the Fund. Resources may be provided in the form of grants up to USD 1 million per country per year or technical assistance.

The Readiness Program is a component of the larger GCF, which was set up in 2010 and aims to promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The GCF is an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC and of the Financial Mechanism of the Paris Agreement.

Support Provider


Purpose of Support
Strengthening enabling environments and stakeholder capacity
Prepare Proposals, Projects and Pipelines
Funding Type
In-kind contributions
Monitoring and Reporting Procedures

The proposal will specify project monitoring arrangements which should include local monitoring. Each grant usually requires one interim progress report, one unaudited financial statement, one completion report, and one audited financial statement. However, the detailed requirements of each grant depend on the financial management capacity assessment results of the delivery partner. All approved proposals and signed grant agreements are open to the public on the GCF website (Online library). The Secretariat is discussing ways to disclose other documents received through this support.

Organizational and Decision Making Structure

The Green Climate Fund is an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC Convention and the Paris Agreement. It is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the COP. In order to ensure accountability to the COP, pursuant to Article 11, paragraph 3, the Board will: (a) Receive guidance from the COP, including on matters related to policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria, and matters related thereto;(b) Take appropriate action in response to the guidance received; (c) Submit annual reports to the COP for its consideration and receive further guidance.

The Green Climate Fund is governed by a Board of 24 members representing developed and developing countries equally. Each Board member has an alternate member.

Representation from developing countries includes:

  • three members and three alternate members from the Asia-Pacific States;
  • three members and three alternate members from the African States;
  • three members and three alternate members from the Latin American and the Caribbean States;
  • one member and one alternate member from the small island developing States (SIDS);
  • one member and one alternate member from the least developed country Parties (LDCs);
  • one member from the developing country Parties not included in the regional groups and constituencies above; and
  • one alternate member to rotate between developing country Parties included in the groups and constituencies listed above.

The members and alternate members of the Board are selected by their respective constituency, or regional group within a constituency, to serve a three-year term. The Board usually meets three times a year, and decisions are made by consensus. The GCF has a gender and social inclusion policy within their operational framework.

Accreditation Panel: it provides independent advice to the GCF Board about individual applications for accreditation, as well as on development and operationalization of the guiding framework of the Fund’s accreditation process. It is made up of six senior experts, evenly balanced by representation from developed and developing countries, and is supported by a pool of external technical experts. Members of the Accreditation Panel serve for three years. Accreditation Panel members provide specialized knowledge on a range of issues feeding into accreditation decisions, including good practice in fiduciary principles and standards, environmental and social safeguards, gender-related issues, and recognized good practice in accreditation procedures.

Independent Technical Advisory Panel (ITAP): it assesses the funding proposals against the six GCF investment criteria. ITAP is an independent technical advisory body made up of six international experts: three from developing countries and three from developed countries.

The Secretariat: is responsible for executing the day-to-day operations of the Fund. It services and is accountable to the Board. The GCF Secretariat is headquartered in Songdo, Republic of Korea.

National Designated Authorities (NDAs) or Focal Points (FP): are the core interface between a country and the Fund. It seeks to ensure that activities supported by the Fund align with strategic national objectives and priorities, and help advance ambitious action on adaptation and mitigation in line with national needs. Find the list here.

Accredited Entities: The Fund will channel its resources through a network of public, private and non-governmental institutions operating at sub-national, national, regional and international levels that meet the Fund’s standards. These institutions need to be aligned with the Fund’s objectives and meet its fiduciary standards and environmental and social safeguards through a process of accreditation. A key role of NDAs/FPs is to identify suitable entities to be accredited to the Fund in order to support the country climate-related projects portfolio. NDAs/FPs provide letters of nomination to direct access entities. (more information in the section “Steps to access”).

Trustee: The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited the World Bank to serve as interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund for a multi-year, renewable period of time. Its functions in this capacity include the receipt, holding and investment of financial contributions from contributors, transfer of financial resources pursuant to instruction by GCF, and preparation of summary financial reports. The GCF’s permanent trustee will be chosen through an open bidding process.

Eligibility Criteria

Funding support can be used to:

  • Formulate adaptation plans
  • Strengthen institutional capacity of NDAs/Focal Points
  • Enhance the ability of an entity to seek accreditation with the Fund, including for the fast-track accreditation process (pre-accreditation support)
  • Develop strategic frameworks and country programmes that set out national priorities and project pipelines.

More information can be found here. Review criteria for adaptation planning oriented Readiness proposals are detailed in the GCF Readiness Guidebook.

Eligible Countries

Developing country Parties to the UNFCCC. The Fund aims for a floor of 50 percent of the readiness support allocation to particularly vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.

Information on how to
Readiness proposal conceptualisation and development

NDAs may originate a proposal for readiness support on their own, or with the assistance of a delivery partner by assessing their needs, identifying specific capacity and/or technical gaps and challenges, or other barriers to climate finance access and deployment.
NDAs are encouraged to engage their respective GCF regional focal point in the Secretariat to discuss the proposal idea.

Submission of the Readiness proposal

The readiness proposal template should be completed by the National Designated Authorities (NDAs) and/or Focal Points (FPs) with support from their delivery partner where relevant. The NDA will upload the readiness proposal and supporting documentation which includes the Budget, Procurement and Implementation Plan template, via the online submission system on the Country Portal.
The proposal then goes into a queue on a first-come first-served basis for completeness check. If any part of the proposal is incomplete or incorrect, the NDA will be notified, and the relevant focal point in the Secretariat will engage in a dialogue with the NDA to discuss revising the proposal for resubmission. Upon determination by the Secretariat that a proposal is complete, it will be considered an official submission and move into the review stage.
If a first-time delivery partner is not a GCF Accredited Entity , the Financial Management Capacity Assessment questionnaire must be completed, and the Secretariat will analyse the documentation provided to determine their eligibility as a delivery partner.

Review and appraisal

Once the proposal is considered an official submission, an interdivisional technical committee of the GCF Secretariat will review the request.
While reviewing the request, the GCF Secretariat may request the NDA to provide additional information and revisions, by providing written feedback in the form of a review sheet to the NDA and delivery partner, where relevant, to help guide revision of the proposal. The revised readiness proposal should then be resubmitted by the NDA to the GCF Secretariat for further review and appraisal.


Proposals that have reached sufficient quality will be prepared for endorsement by the interdivisional technical committee within the GCF Secretariat.
The proposal is considered approved and budget is committed upon the signature of the Executive Director or his/her designee for the proposal in question. The GCF Secretariat will dispatch a Notification of Approval letter to the NDA, copying the delivery partner, if any, informing of the approval of their proposal.

Legal arrangements and first disbursement
Following approval, legal arrangements are concluded with the NDA, or the delivery partner if one is nominated by the NDA, in the form of a grant agreement. The NDA or deliver partner entering into the grant agreement is known as the grant recipient.
A legal opinion from the grant recipient may be required to make the grant agreement effective. Once the agreement is declared effective, the grant recipient submits required documents to request the first disbursement. Readiness resources are transferred to the designated bank account of the signing party (grant recipient) of the grant agreement.
Implementation, monitoring and reporting
The grant recipient then implements readiness activities in line with the approved proposal, work plan and budget.
The grant recipient reports to GCF, on an agreed schedule as outlined in the grant agreement, against the work plan, budget, and agreed targets, and these reports are reviewed by the Secretariat.
Any potential revisions to the activities or budget reallocations should be discussed and approved by the Secretariat.
Completion of activities and grant closure

Once all required reports, deliverables and audited financial statements are submitted, the GCF Secretariat will confirm the completion of the Readiness request, and confirm grant closure.

See here for more detail.