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GEF support to action programmes and reporting

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has informed Parties that access to funding for enabling activities for the land degradation focal area will be granted, under certain conditions.
This means that GEF-5 funding is now available to support national activities relating to: (a) the development of national action programmes to combat desertification (NAPs) and their alignment with the Strategy; as well as to (b) the preparation of national reports for the performance review and assessment of implementation system (PRAIS) for the next two reporting cycles (2012-2013 and 2014-2015).
According to the communication from the GEF CEO, eligible country Parties would have to choose one of the following three modalities when submitting their request for accessing funds for enabling activities:
   1. Direct access: entitled counties can send their application directly to the GEF secretariat, using the template published on the GEF website. Countries could access up to USD 150,000, as contribution to national activities according to specific cost estimates for the two budget lines (NAP alignment and/or reporting) and adhering to the GEF internal procedures for obtaining the funds;
   2. Access through a GEF agency: In order to ease the process of accessing funds under the enabling activities, Parties can also request the assistance of a GEF implementing agency in filing their request. The maximum amount to be accessed under this option is the same (USD 150,000), but countries would have to pay handling fees (usually 10% of the amount claimed) to the GEF implementing agency for the assistance in compiling the request. Such requests will be filed by the GEF implementing agency on behalf of the Parties which choose this option;
   3. Umbrella project: Parties can request Parties can request technical and financial assistance through the UNEP project “Support to GEF Eligible Parties for Alignment of National Action Programs and Reporting Process under UNCCD” (or “umbrella project”) , which was meant to serve up to 70 eligible country Parties. The umbrella project includes allocations for national activities of USD 50,000 per eligible country and help-desk services. 
The GEF Council, at its 42nd meeting in June 2012, approved funding for USD 2.750.000 for the UNEP umbrella project, which was endorsed by 52 country Parties. A second umbrella project has now been developed by UNEP, to serve at least other 20 countries that may be interested in receiving this kind of technical and financial support. Similarly to the procedure established for the first umbrella project, a draft project document for the second umbrella project (MSP) is now available for consideration and possible endorsement by interested countries. Endorsement letters should be sent to UNEP along the attached template.

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