Prime Minister Kakar Announces $77.8 Million ‘Recharge Pakistan’ at COP28

In an historic announcement at the COP28 summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar introduced “Recharge Pakistan”— a seven-year, $77.8 million activity to use nature to help adapt to climate change. Recharge Pakistan will be a big step for Pakistan to protect itself from the effects of climate change.

The announcement was made at Pakistan’s pavilion at COP28, where delegates, environmentalists, and world leaders gathered to discuss and find solutions to climate change-related challenges.

Recharge Pakistan has unlocked a total of $77.8 million in grants – with $66 million from Global Climate Fund (GFC); $5 million from USAID; $5 million from The Coca Cola Foundation, and $1.8 million from WWF. The activity will revolutionize the way Pakistan takes care of its environment. It will use nature-based solutions and help ecosystems adapt. It will also improve the health of the Indus Basin, making it stronger against climate change, and protect the vulnerable people in that area.

Focusing on “green infrastructure” and using nature to adapt is an important move because climate change incidents are happening more and getting worse, making Pakistan’s financial problems even bigger. The fact that the Global Climate Fund (GFC) has approved this activity shows that the world understands its importance for Pakistan’s climate change resilience.

Addressing the global community at COP28, Prime Minister Kakar emphasized the urgency of collective action against climate change. In his announcement, he stated that Recharge is the first concrete step towards the Living Indus. The project will not only benefit millions of citizens but also serve as a model for climate innovation on a global scale.

The U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan said: “Recharge Pakistan stands as a landmark in the country’s water sector history by shifting investments towards systemic ecosystem-based approaches to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The project signifies the collective efforts from the key partners to tackle current and potential threats posed by frequent floods to which Pakistan remained to be at the forefront.

The U.S Government in partnership with the Government of Pakistan has been working under a Green Alliance Framework to increase the country’s resilience in water, energy, and agriculture sectors to deal with increasing demand and uncertain climatic conditions. In continuation of a long history of partnership in the water sector, the U.S. Government reiterates its commitment to continue supporting the people of Pakistan in this challenging era of natural catastrophes.”

On behalf of The Coca-Cola Foundation, VP Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola, Eurasia and Middle East, received a traditional Sindhi shawl from the Prime Minister as a token of thanks for the contributions that The Coca-Cola Foundation made towards local communities impacted by climate change in Pakistan.

Saadia Madsbjerg, President of The Coca Cola Foundation commented: “We are excited to provide $5 million as part of a funding coalition that has successfully brought multiple partners to resolve a complex problem. With our partners, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the vulnerable Pakistani communities susceptible to the threat of floods along the Indus River. 90% of agricultural production in Pakistan is supported by the Indus Basin, and nature-based solutions to improve river health are therefore a critical part of long-term sustainability.”

Speaking on behalf of WWF, President WWF, Dr Adil Najam shared his thoughts, saying: “This is a momentous occasion for Pakistan as the Recharge Pakistan project is a testament to the shared responsibility we bear towards our environment and communities. Because of the 2022 floods, we stood at a crossroads as to how we perceive climate adaptation in Pakistan. With this project we are restoring the Indus Basin and fortifying Pakistan’s resilience.”

Additionally, Hammad Naqi Khan Director General WWF-Pakistan in his closing remarks at the session stated: “Through ecosystem-based adaptation and nature-based solutions, we are taking a bold step towards safeguarding our ecosystems and ensuring a sustainable legacy for generations to come. We are thankful to all the stakeholders for ensuring that this project has come to fruition.”

Recharge Pakistan is a collaborative effort of Pakistan’s Ministry of Climate Change), the Federal Flood Commission under the Ministry of Water Resources, local communities in Dera Ismail Khan, the Ramak Watershed, and Manchar-Chakar Watershed, the Green Climate Fund, the U.S. Agency for International Development, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund.

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