COP26: Support for Fragile Countries Must Be Prioritized

Statement from Mercy Corps Europe Executive Director Alex Angulo

At this Conference of the Parties (COP26), we urge global leaders to prioritize the communities who bear the greatest burden from the climate crisis, with the fewest resources to cope - those who are already enduring poverty, violence and hunger. 

Yet as revealed in recent weeks, the promises that were made over a decade ago - in 2009 - to mobilise $100bn in climate finance per year by 2020 were not fulfilled last year or even this year. The $100bn goal was meant to be a starting point but it has proved instead to be a false start. The action that has been taken has not reached the most vulnerable: in 2019 only 1% of climate adaptation funding reached the 10 most fragile states - those who are the most vulnerable and at risk.

At this COP26, global leaders must not only recommit to fulfill the promises already made, but prioritize the communities - in Yemen, Somalia, Syria, the DRC and Central African Republic - who bear the greatest burden from the climate crisis, with the fewest resources to cope. 

People living with the impact of climate change today cannot wait. 

Our work partnering with millions of people worldwide shows that action today makes a difference. We can provide drought-resistant seeds, use state of the art technology to cope with flooding, and build new sources of income for people who are displaced. We must think bigger and be bolder to overcome this crisis and bring about lasting, sustainable change for all. 

It is essential that governments and institutional donors step up this COP and commit at least 50% of climate finance towards adaptation with special focus and resources directed at fragile states. 

The time is now.